Brazil is ranked by the U.S State Department as a Critical threat level of crime, with Rio de Janeiro’s (Rio) main threat being opportunistic crime. Although opportunistic, all crime in Rio has the risk of turning hyper violent and escalating quickly to deadly force – literally in seconds if orders are not complied with immediately or any disrespect is shown or inferred.
Petty and violent crime rates in Rio de Janeiro remain high. All areas of the city are affected, though the bulk of violent crime occurs in the city's northern favelas where the drug gangs are most active.
The police have initiated the Favela Pacification Program under the pacifying police units (UPPs). The eviction of gangs from several favelas has led to retaliatory action by local gangs, which has included armed robberies and arson. The UPPs are currently active within many favelas, especially those located in or near upscale neighborhoods in the south of the city, but continue to face considerable resistance from various gangs.
Crime poses the main risk to business travelers throughout the country. Visitors are particularly susceptible to opportunistic crime, such as bag snatching, armed street robbery, car theft and carjacking, especially in tourist areas, on public transport, outside major hotels, in business districts, along beaches and in other densely populated areas.
Copacabana beach although a prime tourist spot is still a high-risk location for opportunistic crime, pick pocketing and robbery. Crime against foreign visitors is a serious concern. The most common locations for criminal acts against foreigners are the bars and nightclubs at popular beaches, especially at dusk and in the evening.
Violent Crime in Rio De Janeiro
Brazil’s murder rate is more than four times higher than that of the United States, and rates for other crimes are similarly high. There are no buffer zones - due to the close proximity at all times to dangerous areas, favelas or transit routes close to favelas means that even high scale, upper class, expensive communities are not considered safe from the threat of crime.
Foreign tourists are especially vulnerable to petty crime. Thieves are active at outdoor markets, airports, tourist sites, hotel lobbies, bus stations and other public places. Although most victims are locals, foreigners should exercise caution at all times. Chronically high crime levels are fuelled by the easy availability of firearms, the influence of drug- and arms-trafficking gangs, and inefficient policing. Most victims of crime are local people, though each year a number of foreigners are killed or injured during attempted robberies, carjacking’s and opportunistic crime – often the cause is resisting or complicating.
The Brazilian prosecution rate is extremely low and not enforced on under 18’s. Therefore the majority of snatch and grab criminals are under 18. There are very few ramifications or deterrents for other criminals with police facing an uphill struggle.
Please contact us to speak with an ExecSecure Consultant for local, best practice methodology, and advice regarding what vehicles, security and set-up to consider. The threat situation changes constantly and personal risk tolerances and situations change between clients.
ETS utilize BOPE (Rio Special Forces) for all security details within Rio de Janeiro