Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, has just witnessed the massacre of 19 men in the space of three hours. Ten of the men were in a bar when masked men entered and asked who had criminal records. Those that replied with a yes were shot to death. Within the next few hours nine more men were shot dead. While the head of Sao Paulo’s police surmised that it may have been the activity of drug gangs, others are pointing towards the police themselves.
Recently two policemen in Sao Paulo were killed in the line of duty. This blood-letting may have been a reprisal action.
Amnesty International is calling the incident a massacre and pointing out that it is not as unusual as it should be.
“ Roque, who heads the organization's Brazil branch, said "unfortunately massacres like this one in Sao Paulo have become part of the routine of violence in our cities."ABC News
The problem of violent crime is not confined to Sao Paulo. The World Health Organization places Brazil in the top 20 for intentional killings. The drug trade and alcoholism is blamed as motives for many homicides.
Other criminal activities are common in Brazil’s cities. Carjacking, pickpockets, bag snatching and kidnapping in order to make the victim access an ATM are all common in the cities.
Of lesser interest to tourists is the rate of corruption. Brazil is rated at 43 in the listings, tied with Bulgaria and Greece. That is unless you are required to pay a fine that is exactly the same amount as your daily limit at an ATM machine.
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