Rio's new mayor is making a serious effort to demonstrate his intent to crack down on crime. Even though it seems small, recent examples I've witnessed. Note - this is having not EVER seen anything like this before - when my dad was here, he commented that he hadn't noticed a single police officer doing anything - my response was that neither had I, and I'd lived here for months. Anyway, I've noticed:
- Towing of cars - something I hadn't seen before, now almost a daily thing.
- Checkstops - checking for vehicle registration and intoxicated drivers.
Other items I didn't personally witness:
- The shutdown of two cocaine factories in Rocinha.
- Walls are now being constructed around several favelas around town, to "stop deforestation" - I guess that is the PC way to put it. I found an article about this issue here.
- Illegal vendors being shut down/monitored.
Rio residents don't seem to be loving the new system. I've seen people yelling at the tow truck drivers (no, it didn't appear as though it was because it was their car), and according to this report, police officers at the checkstops have been receiving verbal abuse as well. Many Carioca's feel like this is a post-election tactic that will disappear in time, but I hope not, because the city could use a bit more order and less crime.