An opinion poll run by the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo provides some shocking statistics. 84.8% of the population claims to have lost confidence in the police force, while 60.8% say that they have already been robbed. 57.84% know someone who has been mugged and 29.11% have friends who have been kidnapped.
Last year, there were 307 kidnappings in Sao Paulo, an average of almost one per day. A taxi driver spoke of a new type of kidnapping, “lightning-kidnaps” in which a person is seized and threatened until the sum of half a USD is paid. The more dangerous areas of this city, which has 15 million inhabitants, are the northern and eastern sectors. Motorists do not dare to stop at red lights in many areas.
Despite the fact that the Federal government has increased its security budget to 9.2 billion USD, the lack of security on the streets of this city, and many others in Brazil, is a serious impediment to the development of tourism in this country.
Marcia MIRANDA PRAVDA.Ru BRASILIA BRAZIL