Inside Brazil’s world of crime: extra police for World Cup

Insight

Inside Brazil's world of crime: extra police for World Cup

As the World Cup gets underway, one concern for the Brazilian authorities is crime. Thousands of additional police and army personnel have been called up to help keep fans and teams safe. An enduring problem in Brazil’s biggest cities is armed robbery. CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs examines one armed robbery in Sao Paulo which shocked the city.

It was a weekend last October that Anderson set off to cross Sao Paulo, to meet up with some fellow bikers. He usually rides with a helmet camera.As he sped through the city streets, the camera was switched on. He comes to junction and attempted armed robbery of his bike. It was by chance that Captain Bernardo, a veteran of 27 years in Brazil’s military police, was passing by the same junction on his way home.

The video of the robbery soon went viral in Brazil, and the overwhelming number of comments on social media applauded the rough justice it displays. Captain Bernardo was later awarded a bravery medal. The crime that took place here is an extreme example of something, which is relatively commonplace in Sao Paulo. There are 300 armed robberies here every day, and usually the thief gets away with it.

Leo Escarante was eventually taken to hospital for injuries he received during his apprehension. Whilst recovering, he was charged and convicted of an additional armed robbery, which he says he had nothing to do with. Now 19, he claims frustration over his low wages drove him to crime. The night before the robbery Leo was at a funk party, Brazil’s version of hip hop. Sao Paulo’s particular niche of the music is called “ostentation funk.” It celebrates the brand names, the ‘bling,’ which for the first time ever is almost within reach of Brazil’s new middle class. This is the world Leo wanted to be part of. He used to record his own songs. The lyrics even mentioned the exact model of Honda motorbike, which he would later attempt to steal.

Over the last decade a whole generation of Brazilians has been promised that this is a country whose time has come, and that some of the trappings of the material world can be theirs. For many, hard work and installment payments are helping that dream come true. However, there are others for whom the dream is well and truly shattered, before it really began.

Inside Brazil\'s world of crime: extra police for World Cup

Inside Brazil\'s world of crime: extra police for World Cup

As the World Cup gets underway, one concern for the Brazilian authorities is crime. Thousands of additional police and army personnel have been called up to help keep fans and teams safe. An enduring problem in Brazil's biggest cities is armed robbery. CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs examines one armed robbery in Sao Paulo which shocked the city
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Crime impacts Latin America disproportionally high. A UN report says robberies have tripled in the past 25 years. The homicide rate is above “epidemic” proportions in 11 out of 18 countries surveyed. Also, between 2000 and 2010, more than one million people died as a result of criminal violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Cynthia Arnson joined us at CCTV with more on Brazilian crime. Dr. Arnson is the director of the Latin American Program at the Wilson Center.

Dr. Cynthia Arnson on Brazilian Crime

Dr. Cynthia Arnson on Brazilian Crime

Crime impacts Latin America disproportionally high. A UN report says robberies have tripled in the past 25 years. The homicide rate is above "epidemic" proportions in 11 out of 18 countries surveyed. Also, between 2000 and 2010, more than one million people died as a result of criminal violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Cynthia Arnson joined us at CCTV with more on Brazilian crime. Dr. Arnson is the director of the Latin American Program at the Wilson Center.
Download Video