One Killed, Dozens Mugged, It’s Tourist-Hunting Season in Rio, Brazil

    Rio robbers have been terrorizing foreign tourists more than ever. Nobody seems able to stop them. More than 20 foreigners have been mugged the same day the body of André Costa Ramos Bordalo, 19, was going back to Portugal in a casket.

    Bordalo was killed when reacting to an assault in Copacabana beach, on Monday, October 14. The student of airspace engineering, had come to Rio with his parents, physicists Sérgio Ramos e Paula Bordalo. He was on the beach at 8:20 in the morning when a man stole his backpack.

    The Portuguese student  started screaming and ran after the robber who then knifed him on the chest. Apparently the parents didn’t see what happened. The mother was inside the water and the father was walking on the sand.

    Claudeci Bezerra da Silva, 23, the assailant, was caught by the police with the help of beachgoers who ran after him after the crime. According to the police they tried to lynch the murderer. He was apparently high on drugs, but had no previous police record.

    Three cases of multiple robbery were announced in the last few hours. They occurred in Copacabana and downtown. The news appeared in Estadão, a daily from São Paulo, which commented apparently with scorn: "And the Military Police commander, colonel Hudson de Aguiar, stated that Rio is a safe city."

    In one case, vive Chinese, three of them public servants in China, were assaulted just before 7 am in Copacabana beach. The robbers had a knife and knocked out one of the tourists before they took his video camera.

    In another case, 14 tourists inside a van were stopped by six men riding three motorcycles close to the Lapa stairway in the center of the city. The criminals took over the van and were kidnapping the foreigners when the vehicle choked and wouldn’t restart. They then stripped six of the passenger of their possessions and left the van behind, but not the car’s key.

    Among the objects stolen: close to US$ 1000 in cash, one camcorder, several watches, two cell phones and four digital cameras. Until yesterday night nobody involved in the assaults had been arrested.

    The Copacabana police made an arrest, however, Thursday night. But this was another robber from another case. Dimas Leonardo Miranda de Farias, 28, was caught red handed while attacking with a knife three Colombian tourists. They took money, a camera, and documents, which were recuperated by the policemen.

    According to agents from the Deat, a police specialized in tourists, Farias is one of 20 robbers who use a knife to assault tourists in the area. He was the fifth to be arrested in two weeks. 

    Public Security Secretary, Roberto Precioso, announced that by the end of September Rio should have 220 wireless and mobile cameras monitoring the most dangerous corners of the city. They are powerful enough to figure out the numbers of car plates.

    The devices should also be used in Vista Chinesa, Paineiras and Mesa do Imperador, three locations where assaults against tourists have been frequent. 

    Wednesday, the 6th Military Police Battalion, which is located in the Tijuca neighborhood, got its own control center with cameras scrutinizing not only Tijuca, but also Maracanã, Vila Isabel, Grajaú, Alto da Boavista and Jacarepaguá, among other places. They hope these extra eyes will make them more effective.


    • Show Comments (8)

    • jdog

      What do you them?
      Rio is a beautiful and moody city. Having just arrived back there I only lasted 4 days as I had very little left for them to rob – in 4 days we we’re robbed 3 times. Its an amazing place and these people who steal are not scum of the earth it opened my eyes if your born into nothing then what have you left to do. One man was just as scared as us as he robbed us I’m not giving him any pity but when the people in power give them no infrastructure to do anything but this how can you expect a person to survive? We are quick to judge but what if you were to be born into this poverty and surrounding violence. Really what would you do? I’m not saying it is wrong as that was the most disturbing thing the approach- ah it happens all the time. But why? The man who robbed us had done it before in the same year in the same place and I’m sure elsewhere – you must have nothing to be doing this again and again. That is the saddest thing. The corruption starts from the top and the ones at the bottom are identified as the evil, scum of the earth they are the products of greed from the top. I had a clear understanding that if it was me born there I would be the one stealing the things from the tourist. Opening up your city for the wealth and benefits of tourism is a step any country takes especially one so visually stunning but if you are only going to have your eyes on the prize and ignore the needs of your own city your own people this is only going to end in some kind of destruction and collapse. It’s all very well telling the tourist don’t wear jewellery, don’t carry bags blah blah blah and yes you might not be robbed but that isn’t the point the tourists if they are lucky can go home but the people who rob and steal and inflict violence still are there trapped in this fucked up way of life. People in power need to stop worrying over the tourists in invest in their people who have notihng.

    • edi

      that is when I was in the US she told me this story about Rio. Just in
      case there is confusion.

    • edi

      Kill for fun
      I felt safe in Rio. But a girl from Rio told me in the US that
      muggers might only mug you or they might kill you too just
      for the fun of it. Depends. She also said no place in Rio is
      safe and she lives 15 miles from Copacabana.



    • G P

      Also, the Brazilian women are the most beautiful in the world, and they love foreigners, especially American and European. The beaches are beautiful and everything is so inexpensive. It is a great place to go for holiday. There are “tourist police” on every street corner in the tourist areas of town near all the hotels, clubs, banks, restaurants, etc. Just stay out of the poor areas, and you will be fine.

    • G P

      Rio is OK
      Rio is safe, I have been there. You just have to use common sense. Carry your money and credit cards in a money belt under your clothes. Your wallet will be taken by pickpockets. Don’t walk around by yourself when it’s dark. Keep a little cash in your pocket, maybe 100 Reals. IF you are mugged, hand that cash over immediately and then run away.

      If you just use your brain, you dont have much to worry about. The people who got killed were the ones who put up a fight against the muggers or did stupid things like walking around alone.

    • ch.c.

      Isnt that great….??????
      Brazil wants to develop and attracts tourism….but is unable to stop the violence and killings…..of both Brazilians and Foreigners visiting the country !!!!!!

      What a shitty Tropical Paradise.

      Just go elsewhere, beaches are clean contrary to Brazil, the society welcomes you…and there is no murking and crimes !
      Let this medieval and archaïc country….in their own mud ! Just everything is corrupted and rusted… Brazil !

    • david darman

      Ciudade Maravilhosa, my ass
      Ok, lets drop a neutron bomb on Rio, then after the radioactive dust settles repopulate it with human beings that can show a modicum of respect for their fellow man. This would include honest cops and politicians, business people who know how to keep appointments and do what they say they will do, and regular citiizens who can practice birth control and desist from terrorizing others to feed their drug habit. Drivers licenses will be distributed only to those who demonstrate they can refrain from tailgating, know what thier turn signals are for, and generally do not go bezerek after getting behind the wheel. Traffic congestion will be eliminated as only 10 % of crrent drivers would qualify for a license.
      If this plan were invoked then just maybe, and only maybe, Rio would survive for more than its current life expectancy of 10 years. Ifnothing is done to improve current conditions Rio will self destruct and become a set for science fiction movies.

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