Rio de Janeiro fact of the day

In the period from January to June criminal homicides have risen 10 per cent in the state of Rio, compared with last year, while homicides in confrontations with police have risen 45 per cent, according to the state security secretariat. Violent deaths resulting from attempted robbery have risen 21 per cent.

The violence is taking its toll on Rio`s cash-strapped police, who complain they lack funds even for petrol for their vehicles. News organisation Globo reported that every 54 hours, a policeman is killed in the city.

That is from Joe Leahy and Andres Schipani at the FT.


"News organisation Globo reported that every 54 hours, a policeman is killed in the city."

150 cops killed per year in Rio at that rate? That's a lot.

One remarkable historical statistic along those lines is that about 40 cabdrivers per year were murdered in New York City in both 1990 and 1991. There used to be big cabdriver protest drives down Fifth Avenue honking their horns to demand more law and order.

Cabbies actually prevent more crimes, by some estimates, than the police. Because they can phone in crimes and are sort of a mobile neighborhood watch program.

As for Rio, there's lots of photos of favela shootouts between cop and gang member. And then there's the semi-factual "City of God".

Ghost of Cowen's Past

"I think the most wild-eyed predictions of the open borders optimists will come true, and to spare, but I think a lot of the forebodings of the grimmest open border pessimists will also prove more than justified."

I was gonna learn espanol and move to Venezuela, but.................

Venezuela is much worse than Brazil.

This is very true.

Brazil ... I'd turn it over to the Paraguayans to run; they'd not make a hash of it.

Yes, they would, they could not even rule their own country. They were opressed and terrorized ny the tyrant Solano López, called the Napoleon of South America. Brazil freed the Paraguayan prople and built modern Paraguay.

Yep the glorious and benevolent Brazilian liberators managed to kill a third of the population of Paraguay. Now "tyrant" (Brazil had an "emperor" at the time) Francisco Solano Lopez was a total idiot that managed to get his country into three simultaneous wars

Our forefathers fought for survival AFTER the Paraguayan agressor tried to conquer Brazil and murdered Brazilian soldiers. They did it after Brazil helped them arm themselves. Yet, Brazil forgave Paraguay's war debt and helped Paraguay apply democracy to its internals affairs.

The tyrant López forced the Paraguan CHILDREN to fight to death to keep him and his cronies in charge. I can not imagine a Brazilian leader doing it, terrorizing its own people for his ambition's sake.

"Brazil had an 'emperor' at the time". So what? Spain has a king.

I anticipate TR telling us that the illustrious president of Brazil has ordered the deployment of 10,000 troops to pacify the city and soon no one will have to dodge bullets. If only Chicago had such fine leadership.

Brazil is a federative reoublic. It is obvious the local authorities made some mistakes, but, yeah, president Temer (who has been acquited of all charges by the Congress yesterday) deployed federal troops ro solve the problem. The point is, Brazilians legitimate authorities are using all the available tools to restore order and protect the population - as they did in my home city, Vitória, in the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, where are American soldiers in Ferguson, Compton or Detroit?
Also, there are much more criminals killed by the police than policemen killed by the criminals. There is no possible comparisson. In spite of all terror and however long and hard the road may be, we are winning.

No troops needed in Ferguson, Compton, or Detroit, as they are far less violent than Rio and other Brazilian cities.

It is a lie. Brazil is facing its problems squarely and winning the battle, unlike America where a terrorized populace no longer trusts her leaders and the bad behavior of her ruling class go unpunished.

Most Brazilian cities, even in Rio de Janeiro State, are much safer rhan your Detroit.


Yes, they are. Every day before work, I take a long walk around my neighborhood and I fear nothing.

Well sure, Dayton is not too bad.

You are funny, you say "most" Brazilian cities are safer than the worst city in the US. So many Brazilian cities are worse than Detroit. And Detroit is the worst. All Brazilian cities are less safe than 90% of American cities. Truth.

No, they are not. Most Brazilian cities are getting safer and safer. My home state wasmone of the most violent ones in Brazil, it is not anymore. The city where I live now was able to reduce crime, too. Rio de Janeiro problem is a financial problem. President Temer has already sent federal troops and will send more money to the local government. Things will get better.

I worked in Detroit recently for about a year, walked to work every day, the only problem I had was with an aggressive panhandler that spat on me when I told him to go to hell. Nobody gave me warnings or told me scary stories about "express" kidnapings and "crianzas" snatching your computer bags as when I went to Sao Paolo.

Some people are overzealous. I live in São Paulo state and have no problems.

You are unaware that the National Guard was deployed in Ferguson?

Oh thats bad news for favela gentrification. Another country to go AWOL on BRICS? Acoustically the C in that acronym was its most defining letter anyway.

Yes, BRIC has become C, a testament to the predictive power of economics. But hey, it's a good gig if you can get it. Once you get tenure, you can get paid to travel and write all kinds of nonsense, like how China is really good and we should kowtow to Chinese notions of the rule of law. The Declaration of Independence is full of myths anyways.

Does the rise in crime relate to the Olympics? By that I mean was crime, or were crime statistics, suppressed the past couple of years leading up to and during the Olympics? And suppressed could be from official efforts (including official efforts to suppress crime statistics as well as to suppress crime itself) and unofficial efforts (suppression by gangs so as not to discourage visitors during the Olympics who could be targets of crime). Rio deployed an additional 80,000 soldiers and police officers leading up to and during the Olympics. "Many of those areas, where police had successfully displaced some criminal gangs in the lead-up to the Olympics and the 2014 World Cup, are now roiled by efforts by gangs to retake turf and regain access to markets for illegal drugs. Rio is one of several Brazilian states suffering from gaping budget deficits. The state government, which has struggled to pay police, doctors and teachers in recent months, slashed its overall security financing by more than a third in 2016." From the experience in Rio and elsewhere, one might conclude that efforts to suppress crime through force must be permanent (i.e., a perpetual police state) and, if not, crime when force is discontinued will be even worse than before.

There is no rise in crime, because there was no decrease in crime, only a change in reporting and a wllingness to believe the unbelievable. Personal safety is a major concern in Brazil. The violence is a consequence of political and evonomic inequality. You would think after 500 years of institutional inequality, mostly racial, the underclass would be complacent, but they are not. The ongoing violence is fueled by a volatile mix of poverty, inequality, lack of the rule of law, drugs and alcohol, injustice, horrible public education, lack of social mobility, and class and racial hatred. Supposedly, time heals all wounds but 500 years isn't long enough.

Now, imagine a country, say, the USA, accustomed to the rule of law, a class-levelling institution of public education, improving racial equality (acknowledging an ugly past), upward mobility, a strong and growing - for 200+ years - middle class. How will they respond when average is over? With complacency? Doubt it. Get ready for a great reset, a black swan.

I expected crime to decrease after Ryan Lochte left. :-(

Fakes crimea do not affect the crime rates.

No Thiago Ribeiro? I thought this post was dedicated to him. Well conclusion is that Brazil sucks (and so does the rest of South America). They always fail to deliver somehow (ex: Chavez, Lula and their right-wing counterparts too).

"Well conclusion is that Brazil sucks"
No, it does not. It is one of the biggeat economies in the world, it is the second biggest democracy of the world, it owns the biggest meat producing company in the world, it makes the best airplanes in the world, it is the unchallenge master of an area bigger than the Roman Empire at its height. It has, in the last thirty years, experienced one of the biggest advances in living standards in recorded history.

"it owns the biggest meat producing company in the world"

Google Friboi corruption. Typical.

As if Americans, with their Lockheeds, Halliburton and Enrons, were not much worse. A conman such as Mr. Trump would never be elected president in Brazil.

Hahahahahahahahahaha I am starting to suspect you are not really Brazilian! Trump is an idiot but he has never had a Petrobras or a BNDES to steal from. It is not remotely comparable.

Temer is a career conman. Lula made an art of it. You have to be kidding.

Mr. Temer was a professor, he is an accomplished intellectual and a poet. He did not get rich by stiffing investors and suppliers, he got rich through his legal skills. He did not inherited a fortune from his father, he came from a racial minority family and was so poor he could not fulfill his true aspiration - become a famous piano player. He is so accomplished, a street in his parents' country bears his name. He helped to write Brazil's constitution and has a political carreer that has spanned decades. He was a law secretary in Brazil's most important state, where he showed he is tough on crime (as he said, "I learned how to deal with criminals"), he was three times House Speaker and was the right hand man of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He was appointed vice president on Rousseff's ticket due to the respect and admiration he commands from Brazil's people. His enemies started to say he was a Satanist, but he proved he was innocent and managed to be re-elected vice president. He is not a foreign asset, he is a Brazilian patriot and he is enacting the boldest economic reforms since the Perestroika.

FYI, no he is not Brazilian and yes he is kidding. Still don't know why he is so committed to the character.

Yes, I am Brazilian. Born and raised in the Southwest. And I can say I know the country as few people do.

Southeast, actually,

Actually, the Northeast.

You know what, it was the Southwest, I was right the first time.

Wait, you know I can't remember what part of Brazil I'm from.

English is not my native language. Brazil's five geographic regions are North, South, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest.

Brazil produces some of the craziest Liveleak "cops and robbers" videos in the world. Your country is truly unmatched in this regard.

Brazil is unmatched in many, more important regards.

This is true. Brazil is unmatched in the following important regards: unmatched in levels of extreme violence, poverty, corruption, disease, and perfidy. No other country comes close to matching these levels.

It is not true. Brazil's corruption is under control because the guilty are punished. Former President Lula has been sentenced to jail time, formermpresident Rousseff has been impeached, all living presidents are under federal investigation. Many of the richest men in Brazil are behind bars. Meanwhile, Trump still is American president (even as it is widely known he is a conman and colludedmwith Russia's dictatorship) and he has not locked her up.

It is true. All facts. Everyone knows this.

No, it is not. Brazil is mostly safe

No, it is not. Brazil is mostly safe.

No, it is not. Brazil is mostly safe.

No, it is not. Brazil is mostly safe.

Stop toying, you are not funny.

Wow! A whole new world of weirdness has opened:

Those cases are rare.

Assuming that Prof. Cowen cares - which one can easily, and reasonably, doubt.

After all, according to his reddit AMA appearance, he does not really read the comments - 'I only remove overt obscenity, libel, and racism when I spot them. I don't spend that much time looking at the comments section, would rather write more posts.'

Besides, according to one poster here, 'Thiago' is actually Thomas from Dayton, Ohio anyways.

I can see why you would be upset that Tyler doesn't read the comments.

Upset? No, I just posted the link to Prof. Cowen's words to show what he says in public about comment reading and deletion.

Which can easily be seen to be less than precisely accurate, at least if one is a loyal reader, as he enjoys highlighting comments from various commenters (excellent, loyal, estimable, etc.).

I have an excellent idea, based on years of experience, of just how often at least someone reads the comments here, to be honest.

Plus he actually does read the comments sometimes, as proven over and over. Oh prior, will you ever win?

Thug Life is doing just fine over there.

Brazil is in really bad shape, more than people here imagine. Rio's increased violence is just the latest symptom, and not truly a new phenomena (violence there has always been a problem).

There's approximately 14 million people out of work. Interest rates are extremely high, and the country's economy remains mostly dependent on agricultural exports. Outside of Sao Paulo, you would struggle to find any tech company, and even there, the number is extremely low for such large country. Young people dream about working for the government, which explains why public pension expenses are so extremely high (the combined annual shortfall of the pension schemes is 4.8% of GDP, equivalent to more than half the government budget deficit).

Add to that a culture of corruption (this is not just about politicians - it never is) and mistrust of institutions (especially the police) and you have a country stuck in place.

The only true hope is that all this political upheaval somehow changes the culture and the next president and congress start moving into a more sane direction, with the first step being the total repeal of current labor laws. Until that happens, I don't see how the country can improve.

This is not true, Brazil is the greatest biggest largest most awesome oh screw it I can't do this anymore! You are right, Brazil sucks.

Stop impersonating me!

Seriously, please stop. Pretty please? I beg you.

The fundamentals of Brazil's economy are strong, the country is only facing a market correction. The economy is growing again, unemployment levels are getting lower and lower with each passing month. Brazil has survived the night, it is morning again in Brazil.

It is ridiculous to think Brazil was rich enough 70 years ago to have the same labor laws it has now, but now just can not afford anymire to deal with its workers - the blood and soul of the country - in a decent way. We are not China. We are not in competition to see how cheap jeans we can sell America.

There are problems and the previous administrarion made some serious mistakes (yet, Mrs. Rousseff has been impeached and Mr. Lula sentenced to almist a decade behind bars - when will Trump "lock her up"?!) situation is well under control, an agreement has been reached by the Rio de Janeiro government and President Temer, the federal government will apply selective spending cuts and is already raising taxes to rise money. The reforms will procceed as scheduled. Brazil is today the place where the boldest economic reforms since the Perestroika are ongoing. There still is much to be done. We do not shrink from this responsibility, we welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

There is nothing in Brazilian history like America's war against Mexico, compulsory internment for citizens of this or that race, the extermination of Filipinos or Hiroshima. We did not have Jim Crows, racial segregation, racially motivated lynchings or systematic sterelization of poor people. There were no Tuskegees in Brazil! Brazil never fought a war of aggression, will ever fight a war of agression! Brazil's moral superiority - and that is what matters, no one knows how much money Leonidas used to make, people only know what he and his 300 stood for - is obvious and unchallangeable. The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

You are funny. The fundamentals of Brazil are terrible! CLT is an abomination that has kept the country under industrialized and now is keeping it out of the IT revolution. BNDES, Caixa, Banco do Brasil, etc, etc., are semi-socialist institutions that completely distort the capital markets. Petrobras, CEMIG, COPEL, Eletrobras, etc., are China like institutions that are corrupt, dysfunctional and cause a huge drag in the economy. Public schools are terrible, Public health is terrible, security is terrible. Congress is completely corrupt and people keep electing the same corrupt politicians. There is an anti-work mentality, slums are an almost insolvable issue, and infrastructure is centuries behind other comparable countries like China and Mexico (try to drive on BR 116)

I still love my family there but there is no possible comparison between Brasil and the US. None.

Brazil's infrastructure is being overhauled. BR-101, near my home town, for instance, will be duplicated. Healthcare in Brazil is universal and the sitting president is not conspiring to deprive people of it. Brazil's ruling coalition is voting the boldest reforms since the Perestroika. It took a few months to change from Rousseff's interventionism to dull-scale liberalization. It is unheard of, in Brazil, a party spending eight entire years promissing a plan it just can not deliver when it is in charge.
Public education is getting better fast. Educarion in general is getting better fast. Brazil is among the highest-ranking countries at the Mathematical Olympiad. About one-fourth of all Brazilian college students study for free instead of being saddled with unpayable student debts. Brazil has basically become oil self-sufficient. Brazil' energy sources mix is among the cleanest in the world. The CLT has not prevented Brazil to become one of the biggest economies in the world. We are in a competition for the future, not to buid "maquiladoras" or sell Americans cheap jeans. We are not India, we are not Mexico, we are not China. We are not exporting our national pride. Our culture, our literature, music, history, martial feats and governance are second to none.

Again, you are funny. In a very misleading way, but still you should consider running for congress.

There is no way things are improving like you say it is. If anything, I see several negative trends, both economical and cultural. Brazil has a talent to import only bad things from the rest of the world. Now we have identity politics taking hold, things like "black blocks" which are incredibly destructive, along with general strikes and things of that sort. Drug consumption is up, digital infrastructure is lagging more and more.

I wish you were right, but you are really not.

And yet the numbers tell another story entirely. Employment is up, GDP is growing, public expenses are under control, public works proceed aplace. Cautious and careful privarization is ongoing. As for "identity policies", sorry, we just do not have America's love for lynching, interning citizens from some races and segregating people (but I am sure it is not what you mean by "identity politics", it is just the life the way it is, right?). No Ku Klux Klans or American Nazist Parties.There are no second-class citizens in Brazil. As for "black blocks", it is a desperate minority. Most Brazilians support the authorities and trust the system. There are criminals in any country, the responsible authorities are empowered to deal with them according to the law - there are no Abu Ghraibs or Guantanamos under the Brazilian system. Brazilians believe in the rule of law above anything else.
Fighting the drug business is a national priority, but Brazil is not Colombia or Mexico, the problem is basically under control. Most Brazilians do not use drugs, most people I know do not even drink or smoke. We will not be forced to negotiate with the criminals as the Colombians had to do. Criminals do not rule Brazil as they do in Mexico.
Digital infrastructure is fine and president Temer has plans to make it much better.

My Brazilian in-laws are not corrupt nor anti-work. Also, I have found Beazilians to be as hard-working as Americans. They do not trust the government and they wish that laws were more consistently enforced. I agree with the rest. I have hope for Brazil - the people are holding corrupt organizations and people accountable. The genie is out of the bottle and it ain't goin' back in. Stay tuned...

Well, I was in Rio last Saturday and the Sunday before that (7/23/17 and 7/29/17). The figures suggest that there is violence spread evenly around the city. That's not at all the case. As my taxi drive told me: "all the violence is in the favelas, that's where they're killing each other." You never see violence in the nice areas of Rio near the beaches, or even in downtown. Why does the press cover the violence all of a sudden? Because the killing of a policeman brought holy hell down on the favelas.

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