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Global Rescue prepares travelers for key threats at Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup

Member Services
June 11, 2014
Categories: Alerts, Advisories, Safety, Security and Intelligence

With concerns rising in regard to the threat of crime, riots and violence toward foreign travelers at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Global Rescue medical and security personnel have developed a thorough review of key health and safety threats to those attending FIFA.

Global Rescue is offering medical advisory, intelligence, travel risk management and medical and security evacuation services to corporate clients and individual travelers. With Global Rescue’s proprietary GRIDTM travel intelligence system, Global Rescue members can access detailed destination reports including real-time alerts for FIFA-related and other global events.

Global Rescue excels at providing critical support during major international sporting events.  We supported members at the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year, with confirmed threats and a recent history of terrorist attacks in the surrounding region. Global Rescue also provided medical and security support to members for the 2006 Turin Olympics and 2012 London Summer Olympics.

One of the largest international sports events ever hosted, the FIFA World Cup will be played over a month beginning June 12 at multiple sites throughout Brazil. The series of matches and related events is expected to attract over half a million foreign spectators and up to three million Brazilian spectators. While the country has been host to several major events—including sporting events—in the past, Brazil still faces a number of security concerns. Petty crime runs rampant throughout the country, and especially in large cities.  Violent crimes, including murders, burglaries, and carjackings, are common. 

While there is a low threat of indigenous or international terrorism in Brazil, civil unrest including protests against the 2014 FIFA World Cup have taken place in several host cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and have resulted in clashes between protesters and police. While public support for the ongoing protests has dropped since they began in mid-2013, the possibility of further protests or violence cannot be discounted, especially once the matches begin. Disruptive and sometimes violent strikes have also occurred in the lead-up to the World Cup, including by police forces.

Given the potential medical and security issues travelers may face, Global Rescue advises FIFA attendees to bring satellite phones to ensure communication capabilities in the event of an emergency.

Global Rescue advises travelers to stay alert to personal security at all times.There is a high rate of crime in Brazil.  Armed robberies—of homes, businesses, banks, and even hotels—are common, especially in larger metropolises. Muggings and pickpocketing occur frequently, especially in tourist areas such as hotels, bars, beaches, transportation centers, and nightclubs, as well as in favelas.

Travelers should avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash at night or when it can be observed by potential attackers. When possible, use ATM machines in accepted hotels, banks, or businesses. Tourists should be on the alert for “express kidnappings,” in which a person walking alone is grabbed from the street, brought to an ATM, and made to withdraw all the money from their account. 

Regarding transportation, the safest way of getting around is by privately hired or corporate vehicle.  Although not as safe as a corporate vehicle, radio taxis are often preferable to taking public transportation. Radio taxis are known to be reliable and safe, while ordinary taxis are often fronts for scams, robberies, or assaults.  Travel by personal car can be dangerous due to frequent carjackings, poor quality of road infrastructure, poor local driving practices, and a lack of enforced traffic laws.

 


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