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    « This week in Rio | Main | Christmas is coming... »

    November 06, 2010


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    You just have to be vigilant without being paranoid.Drive with your doors locked, windows up and check your mirrors when you are at a stop light. Always leave a good space betwen you an the car in front of you at a stop light and always 'glide' to a stop and hope the light changes.
    If you are mugged or car jacked, put your hands on your head, and DO NOT LOOK AT THE ATTACKERS. Let them know you will give them the car, your watch, whatever you have that they want.Also if you have your seatbelt on, tell them that you are going to take it off(they may think you are reaching for a gun)
    I was carjacked in Rio and am alive to tell the story...I was freaked out for about a month, but then I was ok.
    I believe that you have to have a balance.


    I agree with Canarioca - "you just have to be vigilant without being paranoid". As a Brazilian I wish we could walk around Brazilian cities just like we do here Canada.
    I feel sad about the violence in Brazil, but we have to remember that it is not like that everywhere in Brazil.
    In fact, I think I'm more aware of how dangerous Brazil can be after moving to Canada. I'm saying that because when you read the news they make you feel like everything will happen at once as soon as you step at the airport, and when I was living there I didn't care too much because I knew it wasn't as bad as they pictured.
    One thing we have to consider though, things are getting better, and I do think violence will decrease as long as the social difference keeps decreasing as well.
    I do believe that in western countries violence is due to the huge inequality.
    For example, Canada and US. Despite population size, Canada has way better GINI coefficient than US, and so less violence. I'm comparing the two countries because they are pretty similar culturally speaking.
    Hopefully when Brazil reaches a good GINI coefficient most of its problems will dissipate, and I think we are going in the right direction.


    Viligance is key. A few weeks ago, a guy on a bike threatened to rob me. But since I don't walk around with my head in the clouds most days, I was aware enough that I was able just to cross the street and he didn't lay a hand on me. Rio is dangerous, but so are most large cities. It just happens that here, there isn't a strong demarcation line between the "dangerous" and the "safe" areas...and the inequality is mind boggling. (I've heard that the top 10% of Brazilians earn a minimum of R$600 a month.) I've found it hard not to be paranoid (several attempted muggings, frequent shootouts in the last area I lived in, and my home broken into once) but I don't want to be one of those people who never leaves their home.... That's all too common in the Z. Sul. I'd rather live sensibly with the dangers.

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    I've lived here a long time now, and I'd say 80% of the time I really enjoy life here and am very happy and feel pretty safe. BUT..things happen sometimes that make me very concerned. The past month while at a stop light, a mendigo tried to open my car doors while my son was in the back, 11am on a Sunday morning at the signal of Visconde de Alb. at the Estrada da Barra, I've been followed and harrassed by glue sniffing 10 year olds at 1pm near the beginning of Ataulfo de Paiva, corner of Dias Ferreira and had to throw myself into oncoming traffic to get away from them, but the most disturbing thing I just learned about is that a couple friend of ours was drugged and robbed. They are very sweet BUT saavy people who have lived in far more dangerous cities than Rio. They speak fluent Portuguese and have lived here for a while now. This happened several months ago but they went out for dinner, maybe a drink or two and met a really charming and nice Brasilian man, made friends, had a great time, they ended up going back to their apartment with him for a last coffee, past the porteiro, said good night to their baba, and this man drugged their coffee and robbed them of anything valuable he could find, WHILE their two young kids, 2 and 4 years old, were sleeping in the next room. They woke up a day later not knowing what happened. How scary is that? This one really gets me...


    That last one is very scary!

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