Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil security: there’s more work to do

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on October 15, 2010

by Vincent Bevins for Financial Times, October 15th, 2010.

Many Brazilians have been glad to see their country’s emergence as a vibrant economic power begin to eclipse yesterday’s national stereotypes: football, sex, and violence.  But last week, the world was given a grim reminder of the less attractive aspects of the old Brazil, when Google Street View reportedly captured images of dead bodies strewn throughout the streets of Rio and other cities.

This made a small splash in the foreign press, but not so much locally, where the images were unfortunately less surprising.

Crime rates are still high in South America’s largest economy, which is a problem for many reasons other than those most cited of late: that Brazil will host the World Cup in 2010 and the Olympics in Rio in 2014.

South Africa proved that dangerous countries can host these events successfully without needing to eradicate crime first: it simply flooded the streets with extra police where football fans congregated.

But as Brazil vies for first world status, high levels of insecurity take a toll on its citizens’ quality of life – especially those who cannot afford to meticulously insulate themselves from violence, including the new middle classes, now the drivers of the economy. (continue reading… )

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