Tag Archives: Brasilia

Security Advisory: FIFA World Cup

Posted on in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update title_rule

Half of the games down (32), and the sky has not fallen upon Brazil and the World Cup Finals. And unless FIFA attempts to snatch disaster from the hands of victory, as the Americans achieved last night in the 95th minute, all is looking to go well.

Although there is no game in Belo Horizonte today, the UK government has issued a warning concerning the likelihood of protests.  It is the third largest city in Brazil and ranks 48th out of the 50 most dangerous cities according to the UN’s murder statistics.  That said, six other host cities in Brazil make the list and none have seen much in the way of violence against tourists and fans.  Steer clear of any areas that are known for being protest hotspots and leave at the first signs of unrest; don’t wait for things to get out of hand.

Fan fests have been great parties throughout the country for those who don’t have tickets to the games.  They have had a good balance of freedom and security, preventing crime but letting the public enjoy themselves.  After all, this is Brazil, who is better known for throwing big parties?!

We’re now into the last games of the round robin and there are four games a day for the next four days, two concurrent games, with no late match.  Today’s games are in Sao Paulo (24C, 88% humidity, clear), Brasilia (26C, 77% humidity, slight chance of rain), Curitiba (21C, 94% humidity, clear), Recife (27C, 89% humidity, heavy rain expected).

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Security Update: Fifa World Cup

Posted on in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update title_rule

Security is defined as the state of being free from danger or threat.  There were a few incidents yesterday, but none of them actually threatened anyone.  Miss Bumbum’s incursion in Portugal’s practice (with press credentials) hardly presents much to worry about.  The 80-odd ticketless Chilean fans who forced their way into the Maracana stadium through the media centre present a fault in access control but didn’t necessarily pose a threat, other than crowding. The key here is to recognise the threats to personal security and the threats to organisers’ reputations.  So far, there haven’t been many reports of spectators running into trouble because the organisers have managed to keep trouble away from them.  Of course, away from the stadia, there are the usual tourist traps and petty crime but that is the same in any sizeable city, more so in country with such a wealth gradient. Just remember to keep your valuables out of site and don’t wander off at night into unfamiliar areas that are poorly lit and poorly policed.

Despite a lack of success, protestors continue to march against the World Cup.  Yesterday, 3 people were injured at protest in Porto Alegre and today, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued an advisory for the England match this evening in Sao Paulo (17C, 88% humidity, chance of rain) where protests are expected.

The other two games today are in Natal (30C, 94% humidity, slight chance of rain) and Brasilia (27C, 77% humidity, clear skies). Natal has seen very heavy rain recently and also had to deal with transportation strikes so include a buffer when planning your route to the stadium.  Brasilia had the issue with not enough security staff turning up for work for the Swiss game earlier in the week so expect long queues and get there early to avoid disappointment.

Tagged as: , , ,

Brazil World Cup Travel Advisory: Brasilia, Natal and Sao Paulo

Posted on in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update title_rule


City Description

Brasília is the federal capital of Brazil and the capital of the Federal District. The city is located along the Brazilian Highlands in the country’s central-west region. In 2013, Brasília had an estimated population of 2,789,761, effectively making it the 4th most populous city in Brazil.

The city has a unique status in Brazil as it is an administrative division rather than a legal municipality, like other cities in the country. The centers of all three branches of Brazil’s federal government are located in Brasília, including Congress, the President and the Supreme Court. The city also hosts 124 foreign embassies.

Brasília International Airport connects the capital to all the major Brazilian cities and to many international destinations.


Brasília has significant crime problems. Reports of residential burglaries continue to occur in the generally affluent residential areas of the city. Public transportation, hotel sectors, and tourist areas report the highest crime rates, however incidents can occur anywhere and at any time.

The “satellite cities,” which surround Brasília have per-capita crime rates that are comparable to much larger cities. Police reports have indicated that over the past two years, rates of all types of crime, including kidnappings, have risen dramatically in Brasília. Brasília’s Central Bus Station, known as “Rodoviaria,” is a particularly dangerous area, especially at night. This location is known to have a large concentration of drug dealers and users.

Illegal drugs such as crack cocaine and “oxi,” which is a derivative of cocaine base that is produced with cheaper chemicals, have become very common in the “Plano Piloto” area and in satellite cities.


International Airport

The Brasília – Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport serves the metropolitan area with major domestic and international flights. It is serviced by domestic and regional airlines, including TAM, GOL, Azul, WebJET, Trip and Avianca, as well as a number of international carriers.

The airport is located about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from the central area of Brasília and is outside the metro system. The area located outside the airport’s main gate is lined with taxis as well as with several bus line services that connect the airport to Brasília’s central district.


Metro de Brasília is Brasília’s underground metro system. The subway system in the capital city has twenty-four stations on two lines, the Orange and Green lines, which are distributed along a total network of 42 kilometers (26 miles) that covers some of the metropolitan area. Both lines begin at the Central Station running parallel to the Aguas Claras Station.

High Speed Rail

Although a high-speed railway was initially planned between Brasília and Goiania, which is the capital of the state of Goias. The service will probably be turned into a regional service that will link these capital cities and cities that are located in between, such as Anapolis and Alexania.


The main bus station in Brasília is the Central Bus Station, which is located in the crossing of the Eixo Monumental and the Eixao, about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the Three Powers Plaza.


City Description

Natal is the capital and largest city of Rio Grande do Norte, a northeastern state in Brazil.


While the city of Natal was once safe, recent statistics have indicated that crime is on the rise, however it Natal is safer than other touristic cities in the northeast of Brazil, including Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador.

While pickpocketing is common, violent assaults in the city are rare.

If visiting the Forte dos Reis Magos, MS Risk recommends that you travel by taxi and avoid walking along the Praia Forte. This is due to a recent surge in assaults and robberies that have targeted tourists along the beach. Ponta Negra beach is also not secure, with armed assaults on the beach occurring at any time, including day and night.

MS Risk advises all travellers to the beach to avoid taking any valuable articles with you.


International Airport 

Augusto Severo International Airport in Parnamirim is located 18 kilometers (9 miles) from Natal.


Federal Highway BR-101 is the most important access to Natal, coming from the south of Brazil through the boundary with the municipality of Parnamirim. If travelling from the State of Ceará, the principle access is by the Federal Highway BR-304, through the boundary with the municipality of Macaíba, where you pick up BR-226.

When leaving Natal, an important access to the southern Potiguar coast is the RN-063, which is also known as the “Sun Route” (Rota do Sol). This route takes you to the beaches of Pirangi, Búzios, Tabatinga, and up to the municipality of Nísia Floresta. The North Shore is accessible from the Newton Navarro Bridge, following the Praia do Forte to Genipabu, and the Igapó Bridge, following the district of Igapó by BR-101 to Touros, and by BR-406 to Macau.


Natal is connected to all the 167 municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte, along with dozens of locations and Potiguar districts, through the Passenger Bus Terminal of Natal, which is located in the Eastern zone of the city.


Taxis in Rio de Janeiro are white and have red plates. Fares are the same, regardless of how new and comfortable the car is. Fares are regulated by the government.

São Paulo

City Description

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and is the capital of the state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state.


All the greater areas of São Paulo have a high rate of armed robbery, with pedestrians and drivers being targeted at traffic lights and during rush hour traffic.

The “red light districts” of São Paulo, which are located on Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista and the Estacao de Luz metro area, are especially dangerous as there are regular reports of young women slipping various drugs into men’s drinks and robbing them of all their belongings while they are unconscious.

Armed holdups of pedestrians and motorists by young men on motorcycles are a common occurrence in São Paulo. Recently, criminals have begun targeting restaurants throughout the city. Such incidents have especially occurred between the hours of 10PM and 4 AM, at establishments in the upscale neighborhoods of Jardins, Itaim, Bibi, Campo Belo, Morumbi and Moema.

Laptop computers, other electronica and luxury watches are the targets of choice for criminals in São Paulo.

Efforts by incarcerated drug lords to exert their power outside of their jail cells have in the past resulted in sporadic disruptions throughout the city, with violence being directed at the authorities, and including bus burnings and vandalism at ATM machines, including the use of explosives. MS Risk advises travellers to São Paulo to be aware of your surroundings and to exercise caution at all times. You are also advised to respect police roadblocks and be aware that some municipal services may be disrupted.

As in Rio de Janeiro, favela tours have recently become popular amongst foreign tourists in São Paulo. MS Risk advises against travelling to São Paulo’s favelas as neither the tour company nor the city police can guarantee your safety.


International Airport

São Paulo has two main airports: São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport for international flights and Congonhas- São Paulo Airport for domestic and regional flights. Another airport, the Campo de Marte Airport serves only light aircraft.

São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport is located 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of the city center in the neighboring city of Guarulhos.


Despite heavy traffic being common in the city’s main avenues, and with traffic jams relatively common its highways, automobiles are still the main means to get into the city.

The city is crossed by ten major highways:

  • Rodovia Presidente Dutra/BR-116 (President Dutra Highway): Which connects São Paulo to the east and northeast of the country. The most important connection is with Rio de Janeiro.
  • Rodovia Régis Bittencourt/BR-116 (Régis Bittencourt Highway): Connects São Paulo to the south of the country, with the most important connections being Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
  • Rodovia Fernão Dias/BR-381 (Fernão Dias Highway): Connects São Paulo to the north of the country, with the important connection being Belo Horizonta
  • Rodovia Anchieta/SP-150 (Anchieta Highway): Connects São Paulo to the ocean coast. This highway is mainly used for cargo transportation to Santos Port. The most important connection is Santos.
  • Rodovia dos Imigrantes/SP-150 (Immigrants Highway): Connects São Paulo to the ocean coast. This highway is mainly used for tourism. Most important connections include Santos, São Paulo, Guarujá and Praia Grande
  • Rodovia Castelo Branco/SP-280 (President Castelo Branco Highway): Connects São Paulo to the west and north-west of the country. Most important connections include Osasco, Sorocaba, Bauru, Jaú and Campo Grande
  • Rodovia Raposo Tavares/SP-270 (Raposo Tavares Highway): Connects São Paulo to the west of the country. Most important connections include Cotia, Sorocaba, Presidente Prudente.
  • Rodovia Anhangüera/SP-330 (Anhanguera Highway): Connects São Paulo to the north-west of the country, including its capital city. Most important connections are Campinas, Ribeirão Preto and Brasília.
  • Rodovia dos Bandeirantes/SP-348 (Bandeirantes Highway): Which connects São Paulo to the north-west of the country. It is considered the best motorway of Brazil. Most important connections are Campinas, Ribeirão Preto, Piracicaba and São José do Rio Preto.
  • Rodovia Ayrton Senna/SP-70 (Ayrton Senna Highway): This highway connects São Paulo to the eastern locations of the state as well as the north coast of the state. The most important connections are São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, São José dos Campos and Caraguatatuba.


The two major railway stations in São Paulo are Luz and Julio Prestes in the Luz/Campos Eliseos region. Julio Prestes connects southwest São Paulo State and northern Paraná State to São Paulo. Luz Station has an underground station and has east and westbound suburban trains that link São Paulo to the Greater São Paulo region to the East and the Campinas Metropolitan region in Jundiaí in the western part of the State.


São Paulo has three rapid transport systems: the underground rail system has five lines; the suburban rail system, Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) has six lines that serve many regions that are not reached by the underground system; and the fast-lane bus system, in which there are many bus lines throughout the city.

The Metro in São Paulo has been affected by a strike which is now threatening the opening of the World Cup soccer tournament. Although late on Monday 9 June, Union leaders suspended a five-day strike that has paralyzed the city, workers indicated that they would vote on Wednesday on whether to resume the walkout.


Bus transport, both government and private, is composed of approximately 17,000 buses. São Paulo Tietê Bus Terminal is the second largest bus terminal in the world and serves localities across the nation, with the exception of the states of Amazona, Roraima and Amapá. Routes to 1,010 cities in five countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile Paraguay and Uruguay) are available.

The Palmeiras-Barra Funda Intermodal Terminal is smaller and is connected to the Palmeiras-Barra Funda metro and the Palmeiras-Barra Funda CPTM stations. It seves the southern cities of Sorocaba, Itapetininga, Itu, Botucatu, Bauru, Marília, Jaú, Avaré, Piraju, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, Ipaussu, Chavantes and Ourinhos (on the border with Paraná State). It also serves São José do Rio Preto, Araçatuba and other small towns located on the northwest of São Paulo State.






















Tagged as: , , , ,

Brazil Country Travel Advisory

Posted on in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update title_rule

Brazil – No travel restrictions

While there are currently no travel restrictions for Brazil, MS Risk advises all travellers to exercise a high degree of caution throughout the country. This is due to high crime rates and regular incidents of gang-related and other violence.

2014 World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014. Games will be played in a number of major cities across the country, including Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. If you are planning on travelling to Brazil during this period, MS Risk advises that you make your travel arrangements, including accommodation, transportation and purchase of sporting event tickets, well in advance using only genuine and reliable sources. You should note that English or French may not be readily available in Brazil.

Crimes, such as thefts, are known to increase around major sporting events in Brazil, with tourists often being the targets. MS Risk therefore advises all travellers to exercise extreme caution and to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. We advise that you use ATM’s in well-lit public areas or inside banks and avoid using them during the evening and night.

Over the past several weeks, demonstrations have occurred throughout Brazil. Further demonstrations leading up to, during and after the World Cup, may take place and may turn violent with minimal or no notice. MS Risk advises all travellers to avoid demonstrations, monitor the local developments and follow the advice of local authorities.

Emergency Services

  • Fire Department: Dial 193
  • Police: Dial 190
  • Ambulance Services: Dial 192

In São Paulo, dial (11) 3120-4447 or (11) 3151-4167 to reach the tourist police. In Rio de Janeiro, dial (21) 2332-2924, (21) 2332-2511 or (21) 2332-5112 to reach the tourist police.

In the event of an emergency or an accident with injuries, dial 193 anywhere in Brazil. In the case of an accident without injuries, contact the military police at 190.

Civil Unrest

Risk Rating: Low – Medium Risk

Political and labour strikes and demonstrations are common throughout Brazil and could lead to violent incidents. During protests, roadblocks are sometimes used. MS Risk advises travellers to avoid large gatherings and keep informed of future demonstrations by monitoring local news reports.

Since 10 June 2013, demonstrations have been taking place throughout Brazil to protest against corruption and an increase in costs to basic services. Such demonstrations can occur anywhere and at any time. In São Paulo, protests can cause delays along the main road that leads to Guarulhos International Airport. Expect traffic and public transportation disruptions.


Risk Rating: High Risk

Crime levels throughout Brazil are high, including in most urban centres such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Recife and Salvador. However violence and crime can occur anywhere and often involve firearms or other weapons. In the past, victims have either been seriously injured or killed when resisting perpetrators. MS Risk advises all travellers to remain vigilant, particularly before and during the festive and carnival periods.

Robberies involving tourists occur regularly, even during daylight hours, and can sometimes be violent. MS Risk advises travellers to avoid isolated areas and unsupervised beaches with poor visibility from the sidewalk. We also advise that you ensure your hotel or living accommodation is completely secure.

Street crime, including pickpocketing, mugging and purse snatching, is common throughout Brazil, especially during public festivities such as the annual Carnival. Tourists are particularly targeted. MS Risk advises travellers to avoid wearing expensive jewellery, watches and clothing. Do not carry large amounts of money. Keep mobile phones and cameras out of sight and leave your passport and valuables in a safe place. It is recommended that you carry another form of photo ID, such as a driving license, with you at all times. If threatened, MS Risk advises that you be ready to hand over all valuables and that you do not attempt to resist attackers as they may be armed or under the influence of drugs.

There has been an increase in robberies at ATM’s. Some ATM’s have been fitted with anti theft devices, which apply pink coloured ink to the notes of an ATM that has been damaged or tampered with. Travellers should be aware that any pink coloured note will not be accepted in the market and automatically loses its value. If you withdraw cash at an ATM and it has any sort of pink marks, you are advised to speak to the bank straight away in order to get the note changed. If this occurs outside of bank hours, or not in a bank branch, you should get a bank statement from the ATM showing the withdrawal and take it with the marked note to a police station in order to attain a police report.

Bank and credit card fraud is common in Brazil, including card cloning from ATM’s. MS Risk advises all travellers to keep sight of your card at all times and to not use an ATM if you notice anything suspicious.

Mobile phone cloning also occurs in Brazil. You are advised to take care of your handset at all times.

Kidnappings and carjacking’s occur throughout the country, particularly in larger cities. In past incidents, victims were usually picked up from the street and forced to withdraw funds from ATM’s. MS Risk therefore advises travellers to remain cautious with new acquaintances who offer friendship, hospitality or assistance.

Theft from cars is common and there have been cases of carjackings. When approaching your car, have the keys ready in order to make it easier to get into the car. When driving, keep the doors locked and windows closed and take particular care when stopping at a traffic light. In three or more lanes of traffic, consider using the middle lanes. Avoid deserted or poorly lit places. MS Risk advises all travellers to be aware of people approaching to ask for information, especially at night. The threat of personal attack is lower outside cities, however incidents can occur even at holiday destinations that appear to be relatively secure.

While rape and other sexual offences against tourists are rare, there have been attacks against both men and women, with some involving ‘date rape’ drugs. MS Risk advises travellers to purchase your own drinks and to keep them within sight at all times.

Gang-Related Violence

While police officials in Brazil have carried out crackdowns on crime throughout the country, this has led to retaliation attacks that have been carried out by criminal gangs. As a result, there is an increased chance of violence across the entire country, including in major cities. MS Risk advises travellers to remain vigilant at all times and to comply with security directives that have been imposed by local authorities.

Incidents of gang-related violence continue to pose a threat in large urban centres, where there is often a visible disparity in the levels of wealth. In the past, targets of gang-related violence have included police stations, buses, official buildings and businesses. Most tourist hubs and destinations have also been targeted. In urban centres, particularly in or near favelas, violent incidents and armed clashes have occurred between police forces and alleged criminals on a regular occurrence.

While additional security forces have been deployed throughout the country, future gang-related violence is likely to occur and could involve the use of weapons, including firearms, which are increasingly easy to obtain. MS Risk advises all travellers to exercise a high degree of caution at all time and to avoid travelling alone, especially at night.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is widespread in Brazil. If you are caught trafficking, the penalties are severe and often involve long prison sentences in a Brazilian prison. The penalties for possession of drugs for personal use range from educational classes to community service.

Road Travel

Brazil has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. This is due to aggressive driving habits, a significant number of trucks on the road, reckless passing, excessive speeds, poorly marked lanes, construction, vehicles moving in the wrong direction on one-way streets, and poorly maintained roads.

MS Risk advises all travellers to avoid driving after dark and to keep doors locked and windows closed at all times. We also advise that you be careful when stopping on the side of any highway, both for traffic and for the potential of being a victim of crime.

When driving in large cities, MS Risk advises travellers to pay attention to your surroundings while waiting at traffic lights. It is common for motorists to treat red lights as stop signs between the hours of 10 PM and 6 PM in order to protectagainst hold-ups at intersections. Most cities will have a flashing yellow light, which indicates that drivers only need to yield.

Public Transportation

Theft on buses and trams is common, especially at night. Violent incidents frequently occur in unofficial taxis, which are often present at airports. Registered taxis are clearly identified however they may look different in each city. To be safe, MS Risk advises that you purchase tickets from taxi offices at the airport’s arrival hall. In town, we advise that you use taxis from taxi stands only. Only use taxis to travel to and from airports. Local law requires the use of the taxi meter in order to determine the legal fare. Adding surcharges to a fare is illegal. Should taxi rates change, and their meters have not been adjusted, drivers may indicate these changes by showing you an authorized paper with the new rates. At night, it is safer to order a taxi by telephone then to stand on a street.

Tagged as: , , , ,