MS Risk Blog

Security Review of Brazil

Posted on in 2014 FIFA World Cup - Security Update title_rule

A full moon on Friday the 13th and the strangest thing to occur yesterday was a trouncing of the Spanish at the hands, or rather feet, of the Dutch.

As for security issues, there has been some concern raised over the security of stadiums where one reporter complained “…credentials were checked and his bag was scanned only one time before he entered the complex..”; this is similar to most sporting events and bags are only scanned once at international airports so I’m not quite sure what the concern is. Bags are being searched and tickets are being checked, this dramatically reduces the capacity of violence in the stadium.  It is worth noting that Brazil does not have a population of ideologically motivated violent actors nor have they been recognised as a target for Islamic extremism so the likelihood of this event being targeted by terrorists is much lower than in London or Sochi during the Olympics.

Today’s matches are in Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Manaus, and Recife.  All four cities make the UN top 50 most violent in the world with Manaus topping at number 11.  The vast majority, like the crime in Mexico’s most dangerous cities as well as throughout Latin America, is due to large-scale organized crime.  In fact, all of the cities are regarded as places to go by travel guides and backpackers.

The game likely to have problems, if any, is the England vs Italy match in Manaus.  This is not due to nature of the city or security risk but rather the propensity for British football fans to drink too much and start trouble themselves. It is recommended to stay away from large groups of drunken men, regardless of affiliation, and not to drink too much altogether.  Drunken people are targets for petty crime: mugging, express kidnapping, pickpocketing, etc.

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