Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brazil: Mass-Robbery of Tourists While Hiking in National Park

Some 30 tourists were robbed on Sunday (February 26) by six gunmen while hiking in Tijuca National Park in the southern section of Rio de Janeiro.

At the time of the robbery, the group of tourists were on one of the trails leading to Pedra da Gavea, a monolith that rise more than 800 meters (2,622 feet) and offers impressive views of the city. Stolen items included mobile phones, purses, cash, cameras and jewelry.

COMMENT: A police officer in the tour group managed to escape and call for help, although a lingering question is why he did not repel the assailants if he was armed and had the opportunity to neutralize the situation. No arrests have been made.

Tijuca National Park, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, offers magnificent views and includes Corcovado Mountain, home to the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Increasingly, in Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and other Latin American countries we are beginning to see with increasing frequency what can only be described as "mass armed robberies," particularly in rural areas where tourists in large groups can often be found.

Tourists are reminded that not knowing what can occur in a developing country, don't wear or carry anything that cannot be replaced. And, of course, NEVER resist an armed robbery of money or possessions are the objective. No property is worth your life.

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