Monday, September 26, 2011

20 Brazilians, French Citizens Robbed at Hostel in Rio de Janeiro

Some twenty tourists attending a local music festival, largely Brazilians and three French tourists, who were residing at a local hostel were robbed at gunpoint when five assailants suddenly entered their hostel on Sunday (September 25) and robbed them of money, credit cards, electronics and other valuables. After the victims were tied up, the gunmen methodically went through their luggage and belongings for valuables.

COMMENT: This type of crime is not rare in Rio de Janeiro, which unfortunately has one of the highest levels of crime in South America, despite the fact that Rio is scheduled to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Generally speaking, Brazil's wealthy and foreign visitors are at the top of most criminals' shopping list. From my perspective, local police have a very long way to go before the World Cup and the Olympics.

Visitors to Rio are urged to bring nothing that cannot be replaced, "dress down," avoid wearing expensive or expensive-looking jewelry, don't carry their passport (only a photocopy of the passport photo page and the Brazilian visa/entry pages), carry little cash and be observant of would-be criminals sizing them up. Loners are specifically targeted. It is suggested that women leave their wedding rings/bands at home and avoid carrying a purse.

It should also be noted that travelers entering Brazil with LESS than six months validity remaining on their passports can be deported to their country of origin.

Digital cameras, MP3 players and laptops should be carried in very "weathered" tote bags. International insurance coverage for such items can be obtained from

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