BRAZIL’S FAVELAS, CRIME AND CHALLENGE OF INDIVIDUAL TOURISM
“They have a joy for life in Brazil unlike any country I have ever seen.”
Brazil is such a beautiful country with lot of mystical faces. The fifth largest country in the world is blessed with white-sand beaches, hidden tropical islands and picturesque colonial towns. It seems that Brazil has all and still has nothing. From amazing waterfalls to the fascinating, massive dunes, Brazil is created the unique tourist attractions that affects million of visitors with never ending madness and love for Brazil and all what there could be done and seen. You cant visit Brazil just booking your tour online and hoping that all will be fine and that you will meet the real DNA of Brazil. For sure, you wont experience anything but flock life in some of highly advertized hotel chains, that I usually define as the boring holiday for bored and rich people. The blood and temper of Brazil could be found if you go out of your comfort zone. When you follow your adrenaline instincts and you rent apartment, driving a car somewhere in the middle of nowhere or drinking Caipirinha in some of the local bars, in the heart of favelas. That is Brazil, that will gravitate you in its own magnetic field, offering you adventure, enthusiasm, fear and passion. Unfortunately, this country has its sinister side, the ,malign spirit sister that sacrifice the tourism at the altar of poverty, hopeless life, crime and death.
How could be Brazil dangerous? Because it is out of control, wild and hot temper, big and demanding, the beast of South America that sometimes come out from its darkness and take the innocent with. It is not a debate that Brazil should not be visited by tourists it but it must work on its safety if still hold on strategy to ensure tourism development without any shadow. We are talking about high level of insecurity for strangers who pop in and plan to spend thousand of dollars, researching the glowing beauty of Brazil. They could be beaten, injured or killed and all that is happening, as it seems, with indifference of the Brazilian goverment, wrapped into corruption and cheap political games. Just to remind, the dangerous profile of Brazil is growing up in last 10 years, since the horror statistics has informed us that so many people, especially tourists, go missing over there every single year. Some of them are responsible themselves for their malicious end, because they haven’t checked the local conditions and they have not respected the local rules of survival. But, what about rest ? The majority of sad numbers have been killed by criminal gangs or have been abused for organ trafficking in one of the most profitable organ trade route in South America. That kind of insecurity is not only national but also international because it merges many countries in one pot and produce a global fear for globetrotters.
Based on some reports, Brazil could be so alluring and so deadly :“Brazil can be a volatile and unpredictable place. For evidence, look no further than a fall 2017 incident in which a Spanish tourist was killed by police in Rio de Janeiro. According to the New York Times, her driver failed to stop near the Rocinha favela, which is in the midst of a violent spree of tit-for-tat killings between the militarized police and local gangs. When you add political instability, a resurgent right-wing government, rampant income inequality, and a stalled economy, the nation’s discord is an unsurprising development. Like anywhere else on earth, those factors have unfortunately correlated to increases in crime and violence.”
The scariest part of Brazil it its own discrepancy in social classes, the annoying ambys between poor and rich, between those who can all and those who can nothing. When we think about datas and figures that sometimes speak against visiting Brazil, we have to know that Brazil is very huge and that negative portfolio is actually an outcome of asymmetric accumulated population. Nevertheless, the high sky record in murders put Brazil above Mexico and Nigeria. What does it mean ? The majority of visitors are located between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo has 50 % more people than NYC but still its own murder rate is lower as in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia or Houston. On the other side, samba dressed Rio de Janeiro is the same size as Los Angeles but its crime rate is lower than that what has Baltimore or Detroit. The NO-GO zones are in the USA, Europe and they should be also known and respected in Brazil too. We cant have double standards and simply accuse Brazil for its criminal waves and dangerous areas when we aren’t able to defeat and deal with our own trash.
The official standing of Brazilian Government is that favelas must be controlled with powerful police and military machinery, even if that means the prolonging of differences among social stages and their separation with colors of safe and unsafe. To visit favelas could be inviting for many tourists but it shouldn’t be practice because it could bring a lot of unnecessary outputs. In need to tastes the local life in favelas and authentic folklore of Brazil, many visitors decide even to go alone over there, jumping in some of hundreds Brazilian favelas. There are those that are known as peaceful or under police domination but you never know where and when the violence can start. Most of the strangers do not speak Portuguese and are not familiar with survival techniques in favelas so incidents are to be expected. Some crime experts have claimed that drug cartels and gangs usually do not have interests to mess with tourists because of unwanted attention but sometimes they could think that tourist is a covered officer with job from above.
It was sad to read that only 6 million tourists visit Brazil every year which is almost a half of those who visit tiny Singapore. Something must be changed and the potential of Brazilian tourism must be boosted, in spite of drugs, Zika virus and favelas. The feeling of security must be developed through the effective goverment measures. I don’t recommend that Brazil need to be a police state but the seeing the police and military forces all around would bring a better feeling for visitors or at least, it would make them feel safer. It is a psychological issue, you feel safe because you know that someone is there to protect you even if is not.
To be able to be born again in Brazil, we need to be informed about local art of living and escaping the death. We are there to accept Brazil as it is, the majestic world of wonders, temptations, challenges and threatens. We are there to take it as it is, without expecting miracles but knowing that we will find them. Brazil is one and only so the life is or as one of the famous Brazilian writer, Paulo Coelho, said: “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”