Sexual assault, armed robbery, armed assault, burglary, theft, political unrest, infectious diseases, and pollution drive Brazil’s ranking to #3 on the 2016 List of 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers. Tourists are often specific targets. With all these factors at play, why was Brazil selected for the 2016 Olympics? It is a mystery to us, too.
Rating: Very Dangerous and Obnoxious
Brazil still has the third highest homicide rate in the world, according to the UNODC. Other crime remains high, according to the latest OSAC report which notes that the crime situation is considered critical for those posted to embassies. Sexual assault, armed robbery, armed assault, burglary, and theft are the principal concerns, particularly with the upcoming 2016 Olympics.
Interestingly, laptops are the biggest theft target in Sao Paolo right now and cybercrime is on the rise, so debit and credit cards must be used with caution. OSAC warns against armed bandits that pursue vehicles are a problem and armed robbery in general. For example, armed robbers broke into a faith-based organization and robbed 34 people recently.
Brazil is home of ‘quicknapping’ where a tourist is kidnapped briefly for a stop to the ATM to get cash and then released. There are also ‘motoboys’ who speed up on motorcycles, rob at gunpoint and then flee quickly. Tourists are specific targets in Brazil, with a rising amount of crimes by children and teenagers.
It’s particularly unsafe at night in cities like Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. Even at popular tourist areas like beaches, tourists are vulnerable to crime; the UK warns that large groups of running thieves often target an area of the beach. Police are of only marginal assistance. For help, contact your country’s embassy.
And new for 2016, there is also extensive political unrest with millions of Brazilians demonstrating in hundreds of cities against corruption. While dealing with corruption would be a great idea, it makes things chaotic for the average tourist. Also new for 2016 is the Zika virus as well as the usual malaria and dengue fever.
Not to mention, if you plan to go the Olympics, you are likely to be exposed to all the infectious diseases brought by people from all over the globe. There is also extensive water pollution that affects water recreation.
Finally, driving in Brazil is a high hazard sport, since Brazilians tend to drive fast, and the roads are often rough and not well maintained. Also worthy of note is that during the summer months of November through March, there are serious landslides and flooding.
If you want to go to Brazil or must go: Try Natal, the capital city of Rio Grande do Norte, a North-Eastern state on the northeast tip of Brazil. According to the Institute for Applied Economics, it is the safest place in Brazil. It is known as the City of the Sun. There are coral reefs, beautiful beaches, a medieval fortress, and Dunas State Ecological Park (a very large, urban park).
Conclusion: Perhaps you are thinking it would be better to go where a woman can travel freely and safely, if so, please refer to our 10 safest countries for women tourists.
Cover Photo Credit: The Associated Press/Silvia Izquierdo via Fox News
Description: A man holds a sign that reads; “The sadness of mothers of children killed, doesn’t have a price”