Get Mugged to Stay Alive: France Govt Tells French Tourists in Rio

Despite Brazil deploying 88,000 security personnel, many countries are worried about the safety of tourists.

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Brazilian army personnel in a training exercise ahead of Rio Olympics 2016. (Photo: AP)

Worried about surviving a mugging during the Rio Olympics? Have a banknote ready in your pocket to keep your attacker happy.

At least that is what the French tourists are being told by their government. To minimise the risk of being hurt in the notoriously dangerous Brazilian city, France’s security advisory recommends that tourists walk Rio streets with no jewelry or valuables, and carry a spare 20-real or 50-real bill ($6 or $15) ready to give to a mugger.

The idea is that it’s best not to resist an assault and always useful to have a 20- or 50-real bill to keep the robber happy.
Thibaut Lespagnol, Spokesperson, French Embassy

Seriously?

As many as half a million foreign tourists are expected to descend on Rio as the Olympic Games are scheduled to debut in South America. Brazil will be deploying 88,000 police and troops to protect them from terrorist threats and dissuade muggers.

Rio de Janeiro has a high incidence of crime, including pick-pocketing and armed robberies that can happen at any place and at any time, a US State Department advisory said.

Credit card fraud and ATM scams are also endemic and visitors should check their accounts regularly for unexpected withdrawals, it said.

Rio’s colourful hillside shanty towns, called favelas, are rife with drug trafficking and armed violence, despite a “pacification” program that placed police stations in some of them, and can be dangerous for curious visitors.

Even pacified favelas can be unpredictable and dangerous. U.S. visitors who visit favelas could be placing themselves at risk.
US State Department

With Zika virus, unfinished Olympic village and faulty plumbing, Mugging is just another thing on the ‘look-out’ list for tourists visiting Rio de Janerio in August.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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