Internationally renowned for its massive Carnival celebration, millions of tourists descended upon the city of Rio de Janeiro to partake in the festivities. However, the security situation in “the marvelous city” has rapidly devolved despite all the advertised benefits that were supposed to accompany hosting the 2016 Olympic games.
Unfortunately this year, revelers were subjected to widely publicized muggings, armed robberies, and assaults in areas typically considered to be safe to visit. Shootouts between police and drug gangs were commonplace, which often shutdown major roads including the Linha Vermelha that connects Rio’s international airport to the city center.
The Associated Press reported that more than 17,000 police officers were on duty each day during the Carnival celebration, yet public officials admitted they failed to plan and staff appropriately. This failure has led to an official decree from Brazilian president Michel Temer for armed forces to intervene. The national military will attempt to curb violent crime which claimed almost 7,000 lives in 2017. However, Brazil’s military leaders have expressed deep concern as the Brazilian government has increasingly turned to the armed forces to quell outbreaks of violence around the country.
Takeaway: The U.S. State Department warns all tourists travelling to Rio de Janeiro to “Exercise Increased Caution.” It is strongly recommended that travel to Rio and surrounding areas be heavily scrutinized. In the event of planned travel to this region, Insite can provide in-depth, location-specific analysis and recommendations and arrange for proper travel security.