Crime Spikes as Rio Olympics Comes Closer

Muggings and street crime in Rio de Janeiro has increased 14 percent from January to May compared to last year, when an astonishing 48,700 muggings took place, it has emerged.

Two Australian Paralympics athletes have been mugged, and a group of Spanish sailors were also recently assaulted at gunpoint while they were training.


Rocinha, the largest “favela” (slum) in Rio de Janeiro.

According to reports, in certain parts of Rio, the crime increase is even greater: the region that includes the downtown business district has reported a 26 percent increase in street crime, while a 44 percent increase has been reported in and around the Copacabana beach area.

The 48,700 muggings which took place in Rio last year are nearly three times the number reported by New York, which has 30 percent more residents.

An earlier report in Forbes revealed that although Brazil is the “murder capital of the world,” statistically speaking, Rio de Janeiro is safer than the black cities of Compton, California; Detroit, Michigan; or St. Louis, Missouri.

Quoting a report issued by the Mexico City-based Center for Public Security and Criminal Justice, the article said that out of the 50 cities worldwide with high per capita homicide rates, 22 are in Brazil.

(Mexico, the second largest country in Latin America, has five cities on the list.)

However, both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro did not make the list. The report said that Sao Paulo’s homicide rate was a low 9.8 per 100,000, which makes it like New York City, and Rio was 18.6, which makes it better than Compton.

The number of Brazilian cities violent enough to be placed among the 50 most violent in the world just keeps going up, from 14 cities on the list in 2011, to 19 cities in 2014.

In 2011, just two Brazilian cities were among the world’s ten most violent; that number has since doubled. One of those cities, João Pessoa, the capital of northern state Paraiba, has seen a particularly dramatic jump in violence over the years—ranking 29th in 2011, and in the latest report, now ranking fourth.

As reported earlier, the black areas of the cities of St. Louis, MO (49 murders per 100,000 inhabitants), Detroit, MI (44 murders per 100,000 inhabitants), New Orleans, LA (39 murders per 100,000 inhabitants), Detroit, MI (44 murders per 100,000 inhabitants), and Baltimore, MD (33 murders per 100,000 inhabitants), ensured that the US is also placed in the top fifty list.

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