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Latin American Hot Spots – Brazil


Following up on our hot spot series, we will be taking a glance at the overall situation of Brazil.

This country is Latin America’s largest economy and second largest market. Sao Paulo is its main business hub and Rio de Janeiro it’s principal touristic venue, with millions of visitors flying in every year t osee the city’s landmarks and famous beaches.

But Brazil has huge challenges in the political, social and economical arenas which bring consequences to the security situation.

The two largest criminal organizations in Brazil are Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) and Comando Vermelho (CV) which are involved in drug trafficking, weapons and smuggled goods. and imposing violent controls within the country’s prisons, remain powerful nationwide; being the first one now a transnational criminal organization with drug exports to the European market.

The PCC is now firmly established as one of Latin America’s main criminal groups, having expanded and established criminal hegemony in much of Brazil, parts of Paraguay and into Bolivia. The CV remains a strong national force, especially in the country’s northern regions, while the Familia do Norte may never recover from the assaults it received in 2020.

Brazil has become the principal transit spot for cocaine heading from the Americas to Europe. Although the homicide rate has seen a decline, there are no indications that it is a consequence of government policies. It’s seen mora as the consequence of agreements between criminal groups.

Prisons are one of Brazil’s main problems. With overcrowded populations and the rule of the gangs that operate at a national level, murder, corruption and arson are frequent in Brazilian facilities.

The beaches of Rio de Janeiro, which are the cities main attraction for tourists, are also the principal target for criminals of all kinds. Petty criminals and gangs are a constant threat to people’s belongings. Discotheques and bars are frequent scenes of scams. Visitors must always be aware of these incidents and maintain an alert posture.

Favelas are still a challenge for the government and the effort to pacify these áreas have only increased claims of pólice brutality and driven criminals to other áreas of the principal cities.

Militias, paramilitary groups made up of current and former police officers and firemen, have rapidly expanded their territorial control and criminal influence in Brazil,  with reports of strong ties to political officials.

These are all factors that contribute to a security situation that is considered of high risk for business and tourism. Visitors must take the proper steps in order to ensure their safety while in the country.