Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Girl Shot on Flamengo Beach

Last night a 25 yr old University student was shot while waiting for a bus on Praia de Flamengo (Flamengo beach). This is a scary fact of life here, many criminals carry guns.

From what Globo says, a man got out of a black Peugeot and tried to steal her purse. She ran and he shot her in the back. The shot exited through her abdomen. Jéssica Fabiano Barros is currently in the hospital under observation.

People, if you are in Rio de Janeiro and someone tries to steal your purse, give it to them. Actually, if someone tries to steal your purse anywhere you just give it to them. Whatever you have in there is not worth getting shot, stabbed, or attacked. Yes, even Grandma would understand if you gave over her old diamonds.

None-the-less, an innocent girl is in the hospital because she was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The article also states that another woman was robbed by the same pair before Jessica. Everything has been reported to the police.

A friend and I were discussing how this kind of thing happens in all big citites but in Rio de Janeiro it is international news. Of course with the games coming, the entire world is watching what is happening down here. But I wonder if the reaction to Rio de Janeiro crime would be different if it were reported internationally every time someone was shot in Baltimore or New York City for example.

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending the behavior of these criminals. This is horribly sad and those men need to be punished! But this does bring to mind some tips for avoiding situations like this.

1. Don't wait in isolated areas for buses at night. Jessica was on Praia de Flamengo at 9pm. While not necessarily empty and isolated, it's an area without significant pedestrian traffic at night. Unfortunately, it is also one of the best place to get quick buses to certain areas of the city. Being a well let area with plenty of buses going buy, most wouldn't think twice about waiting there.

2. Hand over your stuff. Screw the passport, money, credit cards, and photos of nieces and nephews. Don't even ask them to have a private moment to say goodbye to your iphone, just hand it over.

3. If you should get robbed, report it to the police. While it may not lead to anything, it is an important step in the process of raising the level of security in Rio.

4. When in doubt take a cab. Again, not easy on the pocketbook but sometimes that's just what one needs to do.

5. Travel in groups. Find someone going the same way as you or at least also catching a bus. That way you don't have to wait alone.

That's all the tips pouring out of my head at the moment. What would you add?

And Jessica, I wish you a speedy recovery! 


  1. Only carry with you what your are prepared to surrender.


  2. Rachel,

    Gil and I talk about this all the time, it seems that anything negative that happens in Brazil is advertised 10 times more than anything else that happens in large American cities.
    I travel to New York city all the time for work and always see horrible local news in the mornings about bodies found under bridges, people that were raped and killed in parks early in the morning, all kinds of absurds that never even makes it to the National news.
    In Brazil, similar stuff is all over the news and it even makes it to the International news. I just don't understand why it's like that...
    On one hand it's good because it pressures the Brazilian governament and police to do something about it, but on the other hand, it scares people in an exagerated way if you ask me.
    There is no doubt the best thing to do is to never "react" to a robbery. Let them take whatever they want, your life is always more important.


  3. Rio violence makes international headlines because it's a tourist city. And the level of violence IS frightening. The inability of the overwhelmed and/or incompetent police forces and politicians to quell it results in our current situation.

    I don't agree with the "don't react" position, as it really depends on the individual situation. I've been robbed once, and had attempted robberies at least three other times. I reacted every time, because it was obvious that the person was a) not armed and b) trying to take advantage of what he thought was an easy situation and c) it was daytime. Alone at a bus stop at night, yeah, I'd hand over my purse. But if you're not armed then I'm not going to encourage your criminal activity. I will scream, I will push you down the hill, I will call you a racist lazy pig and anything else necessary to send you scuttling away. Which all three of the latter did.

    But as long as Rio refuses to punish crime effectively and simultaneously improve conditions for those living in poverty, there's going to be little relief. Unfortunately...for everyone involved.

  4. Oh, I should point out that robber number one did punch. Quite well. Which is why my vanity gave way and he was the only successful criminal out of the bunch. I'd rather lose my bag than have a broken nose. :)

  5. I agree with Ray that if something happenS in NYC doesn't even make it to the National news but if it is in RIO then is all over the national news and also international news.

    But in my opinion Rio and SP are still more dangerous than most big cities in the world due to the high level of corruption of the police and government.

    Jenna I don't think u can be absolutely sure the robber doesn't have a gun or a knife so for your own safety please don't react...

  6. Wow, she's still alive after all that?! Girl is tough! Hope Jessica recovers soon and never has to go through that again. As an independent woman and often solo traveler, the rules are true but sad; you have to guage many places, such as a bus stop, on how dangerous they are if you were there alone...and avoid them if they are sketchy, even if they happen to be more convenient.


  7. When one hand is supporting the bike, he's shirtless and the other is reaching for your stuff, you CAN be sure. He didn't have a knife and shirtless, where exactly what he planning on hiding his gun? I agree: don't be stupid...but also, don't enable lazy criminals. :)

  8. I'd give the purse anyway, Jenna. The guy stealing from you may not be armed, but it's not unheard of that some criminals attack in small groups. Some other guy may be giving him cover from afar, and HE will have a gun. That's how my friend's dad was shot. He worked as a jewelry dealer, refused to hand over his case and some other guy behind a pole shot him, while the first one just grabbed the case and ran away. I really would rather not risk it, for the sake of a few reais and a cheap mobile phone (that's all I ever carry on my bag when holidaying in Rio... Money, ID and credit cards are kept in a flat pouch underneath my clothes).

    Poor Jessica... I used to wait for buses to Central around that area. I never felt 100% safe there, even though I was surrounded by people. I hope she recovers well.

  9. Anon,

    I am sorry but I have to respectfully disagree with you.
    I don't think Rio or SP are any worse than New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, New York or Philadelphia for violent crime or corruption in the Police.
    New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit have had a chronic corruption issues for decades now, not only in the Police but in the Mayor's office, School Board of Education, you name it, New Orleans and Chicago are as much as a tourist destination as Sao Paulo or Rio, but you don't hear any bad news about these American cities unless you are watching the local news or reading the local newspapers.
    Philadelphia has an average of 100 people shot per night. Army doctors are sent to Philadelphia to practice "bullet" removal techniques to be applied in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Miami is super violent, we lived there and were horrified. Miami has one of the most corrupt police force in the country and the lowest percentage of solved crimes. Tourists get mugged, murdered and raped all the time, it never makes the news.
    Gil and I were robbed at gun point in one of the safest areas in Dallas. I felt the cold tip of the revolver on my head.
    I have never been robbed in Rio or Sao Paulo. It's all relative.
    Luck and being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    However, I think American officials are very conscious about being low key regarding crime rate and corruption scandals, they know it is not good for business and not good for their reputation.
    Brazilians are just not that conscious at all, they just say it like it is, even if it hurts their image around the world.


  10. Anon,

    Regarding corruption in the Police, you should watch "The Departed", "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407887/"
    It is based on the corruption between the Massachusetts state police, the mafia and the corrupted FBI agents in Boston.
    It is totally based in real life, the "mafia guy" played by Jack Nicholson was just arrested in real life: "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/whitey-bulger-arrested-in_n_882728.html#s296735"
    It will be definitely an eye opener for you regarding corruption in the US.
    Think the American version of "Tropa de Elite".


  11. Brazil's murder rate is more than 4 times higher than the United States. The majority of crimes are not solved to due less money and resources for good investigative units such as ones that are in America.

    Rio has high crime rates, especially homicide, in poor areas controlled by drug dealers. In 2006, 2,273 people were murdered in the city giving it a murder rate of 37.7 cases for every 100,000 people. According to federal government research, the municipality itself ranks 206th (out of a total of 5,565) in the list of the most violent cities and municipalities in Brazil. Between 1978 and 2000, 49,900 people were killed in Rio. The urban warfare involves drug-traffic battle with police fighting against outlaws, or even corrupt policemen on their side. In 2007, the police allegedly killed 1,330 people in the state of Rio Janeiro, an increase of 25 percent over 2006 when 1,063 people were killed. As a comparison, police throughout the United States killed 347 people during 2006.

  12. In general - if you are not participating in drug trafficking, you will not be a victim of gun violence. Period.

  13. I still would take Rio over Compton, Gardena or South Central L.A. anytime. Yes, there is violence here in Rio but it is still way below the areas I have mentioned. The only difference is that So. Cal. is so disconnected to the violence that they don't bother reporting it anymore in the news. I have many friends in the El Segundo P.D., L.A. Sheriff and L.A.P.D. that I grew up with or worked with on a professional level that constantly gave me the lowdown on reality. Rio, on the other hand, is still shocked by violence so it is reported and featured all of the time.

    Anon - almost of of the murders you mentioned are thugs killing thugs or police killing thugs. Because of this, nobody really cares and I can't blame them. Evil killing evil or police killing evil is never a bad thing.

    Police in the US usually run away from thugs when things get too hot - example- the Rodney King riots. At least in Brazil the PM have some kind of backbone. Even though corruption exists in the PM, it is still the PM killing thugs.

  14. Oops, keyboard malfunction. Should be: Anon - "Almost all of the murders..."

  15. I have to side with the locals on this one...

  16. Perhaps the difference in Rio is that the very wealthy and the very poor live in such close confines? The violence of LA isn't going to affect the stars quite like the average person, I'd assume...while here in Rio, anyone is fair game. ???

  17. Btw Jenna, you are a bit of a bad ass aren't you? I will so be giving you my purse if I meet you in a dark alley ;)

  18. so rio is super safe, is that why everyone tints their car windows so nobody can see if the person inside is alone? my friend has been robbed by knifepoint on avenida atlantica. my ex-girlfriend has been robbed 3 times, once in copa, once in centro and the other in BH. I live in LA, if i want trouble I have to drive to south central and start something. in rio, trouble is all around you.

  19. Anon, I would rephrase that as you have the potential of running into it anywhere, although that doesn't mean you will. I know Cariocas who have NEVER been robbed and others who have been 3, 4, or 5 times. Hell, a friend of mine was attacked by street kids. Totally random on a street which would normally have been fine except it was nighttime and pouring rain thus empty

  20. I was just mentioning this story to my dad and he knew a woman recently that went to New Orleans and the same thing happened, only she was killed. Coming from a small town I suppose she was naive and didn't realize the danger in trying to hang on to your things. I take the bus every day here in SP despite how many people tell me not to and have yet to feel unsafe however I always keep a thinned out wallet in a canvas bag and I will happily give it to anyone. I admire Jenna, however a criminal that clearly doesn't mind robbing you could also clearly be capable of many other criminal acts regardless of the way they look or act.

  21. I will be hiring Jenna next time I go to Rio. I must say I agree with her philosophy: if a thug is lazy to the extent that he is alone and unarmed then give him a fight. I mean even a crook should have a tiny bit of work ethic.
    Last time I was in Rio a friend asked me to pass by the market and get some beers, those glass 900ml bottle ones. He gave me two empty bottles so not to pay deposit. On the way to the store a thug tried to mug me. Guess who got a glass bottle to the face.
    God I was happy after that.

  22. Anon,

    I was never robbed in Rio, always go to Rio for work. Meet with bankers, ride cabs, walk out of restaurants at night back to the hotel, always in groups, just like we do in New York city or London. We never had a problem.
    We always enjoy the city and have a great time, same thing in Sao Paulo.
    Never been robbed in Sao Paulo either, borned and raised in the big city of Sao Paulo, never been mugged. Don't know any close friend or family member who has either.
    The last incident I hear was a friend from Ecuador who parked in a dark alley to save U$5,00 parking and got beat up on the way out of the concert at 3 o'clock in the morning. The thugs told him to stop and he ran, they caught up with him, beat him up and didn't even steal anything.
    Gil and I were also chased down the street downtown Providence by two thugs wanting to rob us. I have had many thugs attempting to rob me at the New York city subway and I have seen a guy being robbed in the middle of Penn Station by two thugs.
    Crime is all over the place.
    Back to our original point, CRIME and CORRUPTION is advertised much more in Brazil than in the US, that is a fact.
    The US is not a big perfect Disneyland and Brazil is not a big thug infested slum.
    Jim and Greg are totally correct, victims of gun violence are usually people involved in the drug traffic, so nobody cares.


  23. NYC had 532 homicides in 2010. Rio had over 8000. What kind of crappy weed are you guys smoking down there? All of you clearly have fond feelings about Rio, and you know what? So do I! I like Rio! I named my dog Rio for heavens sake! But just because you like something doesn't mean you can't say anything bad about it. Rio is dangerous as hell-don't try and pretend its not. It could be hazardous to your health!

  24. You can't put everything on raw numbers. It depends are where and such. Just as any other place, Rio has some bad neighborhoods. It's just that Rio's bad is a hell of a lot more hardcore. Go into our bad neighborhood and you can be pretty close to fucked (especially depending on who you are).

    Zona Sul is generally safe as far as big cities go, minus those little uprisings here and there. You know, shoot outs and crap ;)

    Dude, you named your Dog after Rio? Well you know what, my friend named her KID after Rio. Now that is some serious love.

    Gritty, if I had a 900ml glass bottle... and that would make you feel good.

  25. I was robbed at knifepoint in Rio a year ago. It was our own damn fault. My friend and I were out at night together where we should have known not to be, but I trusted her too much when she said she went there all the time. Lesson learned. I don't blame Rio.

    I live in a little town near Macae. Yesterday I took the bus by myself to meet friends for lunch there. It was my first time on the bus here, and I did it alone. I had very little in my small purse, and money stashed in three different pockets, plus a written note of my important contact phone numbers stashed in a secret pocket in case my purse was stolen (again). I was fine, but much more prepared in case I did get robbed.

    It was a topic of conversation at lunch. Bag snatching and muggings are really, really common. None of us carry anything worth losing. All of us keep our eyes wide open and if possible travel in groups. None of us expect the police to help if something happens. It's just how it is.

    But we live here, and we all agree these conditions won't stop us from enjoying living here. It's just a different way of moving within your space, a different way of seeing your environment, a different way of behaving to fit your circumstances.

    Honestly, I don't feel any less safe here than I do walking around downtown Houston by myself as long as I'm careful about where I go and who I talk to.

  26. Ok-so not as cool as Roberto Carlos being robbed in his car while giving an interview on radio but this si from yesterday. So you can't drive your car in Botafogo at night?

    Police say former Brazil coach Mario Zagallo was robbed at gunpoint early Tuesday morning in Rio de Janeiro.

    Police say four gunmen intercepted the car carrying Zagallo, his wife and son in the Rio district of Botafogo.

    They say that when the assailants saw Zagallo, they abandoned their plan to steal the car and instead stole his wallet and gold chain. They also stole some of his son's personal belongings. Nothing was stolen from Zagallo's wife.

    Police say no one was hurt.

  27. Ok, but can you now can you look at the robberies in Detroit or Camden from the past couple of days? ;p

    You have to be careful driving here. I had a friend whose phone was pulled from his ear when he was talking in his car, the middle of the day, in downtown. Should have had the window up.

    We have a lot of poverty here. Horrible poverty. And the government doesn't give a lot of other options to a portion of this population.

    But if you want to talk about snatching, what about in Spain. Freaking hell, pro purse snatchers and pick pockets!

  28. What is your argument? That crime happens everywhere? Is that all you have? By that metric, then every city in the world is equally safe. Do you believe that to be true?

    "Should have had the windows up" This illustrates how warped you are. SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ROBBED is what SHOULD have happened.

    This is how my ex's mom-who lives in Juiz da Fora- described her recent trip to San Fran, her first trip to the US. "I loved it-I could walk down the street and not have to worry about anything (being robbed)". Her first words were about safety. What does that tell you? If safety is always on your mind then you dont live in a safe city.

  29. Dude, there is no need to get nasty. There are a lot of shoulds out there and people have different things they are willing to deal with. We all have different pros and cons.

    I also feel a sense of relief when I visit home and can walk all over Coronado (for example) with electronics and money falling out of my purse without an issue. It's wonderful.

    What also should not happen, if we are throwing stones here, are school shootings. We've had one down here. How many have happened stateside... That is truly fucked up!

  30. First-my apologies, unintentional nastiness, rio and safety gets me fired up. When your gf gets robbed thrice and your best bud gets held up by knife, i get riled up when someone tries to tell me rio is safe. Not to mention ive seen a dead body just laying in the street and we've had our crap stolen from the beach and hotel and we've been hassled by the police at a checkpoint on the way to buzios. (Thank god my ex was a lawyer and was with us) And i dont hang out in rocinha.

    Your baseline for safety has changed since moving there. You are clearly more tolerant of crime to the point where your new baseline doesnt feel different, its just normal. I'm telling you your baseline is off. Anytime some crime happens in Rio you respond with a "but...".

    yeah there are some areas in rio that are safe-r. ipanema is nice and im a bigger guy but i still dont feel totally safe there by any means. I feel totally safe in 90% of LA. What percent of Rio do you feel totally safe?

  31. You're right and it is a bit messed up. Let's just say that it's a coping method because if I really stop and think about it I would never leave my apartment. Don't even ask me to think about when my kids are teens. I swear, I think I just may send them up to my parents or move just so they aren't roaming around Rio on their own (as teens do).

    Don't even get me started on the little girl who was molested and killed in a park where my kids and I go. She was grabbed during Carnaval as her Mom worked a stand and they found her later there. It wasn't nighttime.

    Strangely enough you do start to feel "safe" especially in your own neighborhood. I have a friend who lives in Copacabana but freaks out about walking in Laranjeiras at night. For me that is so the wrong way around.

    And 2 of my husband's uncles have been shot. Both were fine. They were resisting thieves who pulled out guns. Again, not something I think about. I just can't...

  32. All that said, I hope to move there in a few months and make Rio my home! Just waiting on the ex to make up her mind if she wants to take me back...

  33. Anon,

    You need to understand one very important point! You are traumatized with Rio, your girlfriend was robbed in the streeet, your friend was robbed in the Sugar Loaf, your paraket was robbed on the top of the Christ the redimer, your grandma was mugged in Copacabana, your cousin was stabbed at Lapa, your cat was murdered in Maracana, your aunt was robbed downtown Rio.
    Well, I was NEVER EVER robbed in Rio. I always have my blackberry clipped to my pants, bluetooth in the ear. I always walk everywhere in Rio, no, not in Rocinha or any other place I shouldn't walk. I walk in Flamengo, Copacabana, Ipanema, Barra, never had a problem, NEVER!
    I have been visiting RIO since I was a child in the early 70's. I never EVER had a problem, NEVER saw a dead body either, anywhere for that matter.
    My brother works in the Oil Industry, he travels to RIO once a week, every week of his life. He entertains clients from Europe, the US and other parts of Brazil. He was also NEVER, EVER robbed, anywhere in Brazil, Rio or Sao Paulo.
    My father traveled to Rio all his life, NEVER ever been robbed, shot or stabbed.
    Ironically enough, my father was held up and robbed in Montreal in 1978 during a leisure trip with my mother.
    Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Queens, New York, at the Marriott near La Guardia Airport and the hotel staff advised my friends and I to take a cab instead of walking the 5 blocks to watch a Baseball game. He told us hotel guests are robbed at gun point between the Marriott and the Baseball Stadium at least once a week.
    Our original point was crime in Brazil is exagerated. Crime in the US is swept under the rug. Period. Nobody is saying Rio is perfect and nobody is trying to put the US down.
    Plus you must be smoking some very good weed. Because your numbers are all out of wack and just plain WRONG.


  34. Getting a little caps happy there Ray?

  35. Anon,

    You just helped us prove our original point. Rio and Brazil both have it's reputation unfairly stained by some few traumatized tourists like yourself.
    I thought your numbers sounded TOO exaggerated. So I decided to do a quick Google search.

    Rio de Janeiro NEVER EVER had 8000 murders, not even in the entire state.
    My findings were actually very impressive, there were actually MORE MURDERS IN NEW YORK city in 2010 than in Rio.
    First, please find below a MAP from the New York Times of NEW YORK city MURDERS and where they happen and tell me how safe you feel in the big apple:


    Then you take a look at this link where it shows that EVERYTHING about murders in New York for 2010: 536 people were killed.


    Here is the most important, Rio murder rate for 2010: 439 LESS THAN NEW YORK. It's Rio's lowest crime rate since 1991.


    So, to our ORIGINAL point, NEW YORK CITY has MORE MURDERS than RIO, but RIO get's crap thrown on it's reputation by traumatized people like you.
    Thanks for helping me learn the facts and feel safer in Rio de Janeiro and I will most definitely be EXTRA careful when strolling around NEW YORK CITY.

    So, next time you hear someone talking about crime rates in Rio just remember how jacked up, traumatized and wrong you are when you talk about Rio and take it easy.

    Keep in mind you could easily and safely enjoy Rio, after all, Rio is not as dangerous as you thought and you better be careful next time you go to New York, after all, more people are murdered in New York city than in Rio.

    Forte abraco


  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Rachel,

    I keep forgeting CAPS = yelling. I will try to remember. ;)


  38. i hope anon understood my message, crystal clear...

    never, "never ever" ever... :)


  39. Ray-if you think for one second about what you wrote you would know you are wrong. So NYC had 536 murders in 2010 and Rio had 439 LESS than NYC meaning there were only 97 murders in Rio for the whole year? Does that sound a little off maybe?

    In the first six months of this year, 2,566 murders were registered in the state, a drop of 20 percent compared to the first half of 2009. The 2010 figures represent a rate of 15 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, the lowest since 1991, said security chief Jose Mariano Beltrame.
    In the month of June, the number of murders registered in Rio de Janeiro state fell 20.9 percent, from 439 to 347.

  40. And you and your family are very lucky to never have experienced crime in brasil, i hope it continues!

  41. Also, I urge you to read a previous blog post by Rachel.

    60,000 unsolved murders over 10 years. How many did they solve?

  42. Anon and Ray,

    I am going to lock you two in a room with a two way mirror and see who comes out alive ;)

  43. anon,

    i posted the links to make it easier for you to see the facts, long story short:

    rio-2010 - 439 murders
    ny- 2010 - 536 murders


    rio has less homicides and still get's blasted, no matter what, this was our initial point.

    ( see, no more caps ) ;)

  44. rachel,

    ok , i am in, lock us away, oh wait, it depends, is anon a boy or a girl?
    i am a gentleman and refuse to fight ladies... :)


  45. Great post. I have to add, I've never been a victim here in Rio, in more than 7 1/2 years and that I live in a good area, where I can walk around and drive around (in a very small area mind you) but haven't had any issue, but a few occaisions where I did feel in danger or threatened but nothing happened. I wear my wedding ring here and I have the gut feeling that someday it will be stolen from me, but I still wear it. I carry all of my stuff in my purse, and again, I figure someday, it will probably be taken from me, and I will hand it over without question. I think the statistics for violent crime in Zona Sul are quite low and as long as there are a lot of people out and about, I generally feel at ease (but I try to blend in and I don't go walking around speaking in English on my cell phone on the street for more than a minute). I grew up in Los Angeles and had my car robbed at gunpoint, more than 10 people I know have had the same thing happen over the past 15 years in good neighborhood in L.A., plus burglaries, rapes, perverts...and the weird thing is that I feel much safer in L.A. I think that in Rio I am so limited on where I go and what I do, and we live in guarded buildings and have restrictions (where and when), espcially with children... but, with time you just adjust and it's normal now. I'm sure I'd feel the same in a lot of cities that I didn't grow up in. And when I spent a month in L.A. recently, every day in the news were horrible things that happened there. It would never make news here in Rio unless it was on a grand scale of horror. But the moment something happens here, I get emails from people in the U.S., before I even know about it. And Rachel, I can't even imagine how I will feel about this when my son is older and wants to have his freedom to wander about. Such a different reality from when and where I grew up.

  46. Ray-
    you posted no link that states Rio had 439 murders.

    Yes-I am a guy so bring it on! I dont know about this two way mirror stuff though, are you a voyeur rachel? I got a better idea-lets meet in the octagon. I know people at UFC here who can throw us on the undercard for UFC Rio next week!

  47. Stephanie,

    Thank you, this is exactly what we were trying to explain in the begining.
    Rio get's a much worse reputation, regardless if crime there is more or less than other places. I think Brazilians are on the drama queen side. We throw a fit for everything and anything and do exaggerate a lot.
    I remember always beeing told at the Airport to never take the yellow cabs, because they are supposed to be dangerous. They advise us to only take the "white" cabs.
    I always took the yellow cabs and never had a problem with them...


  48. Anon,

    "Bring it on"! Sorry pal, for all we know you could be a fussy 8 year old little girl or boy, who cares, you are anonymous, it doesn't count until you show your face on here, like everyone else! :)


  49. Wow, scary story. I spent almost a year travelling all over Latin America and wasn't robbed once - Buenos Aires, La Paz, Bogota, Mexico City, etc. Then, after 8 months in Rio I was robbed at gunpoint at 2pm in Santa Teresa. Of course you can do a lot to help your chances, but wherever you live you have to accept that it can just happen.

    My girlfriend and I handed our things over straight away and the guy ran off. I understand the feeling of wanting to fight but it's so wrong. Perhaps I'm particularly aware of this because my girlfriend's grandmother was shot and killed when she tried to fight off a robber (admittedly that was Rio 20 years ago, but the lesson still stands I think)

  50. "Ray and Gil" could you please tell us from which source did you obtain the number of homicides in Rio in 2010? Thanks in advance.

  51. The woman in question was just released from the hospital.