2014 Brazil World Cup Safety Tips: Don't Scream When Robbed, Says Brochure Aimed At Soccer Tourists

Brazil crime
State police in Sao Paolo. Wikimedia Commons

Don’t scream if you are being robbed in Brazil during your World Cup visit, a brochure to be handed out by Brazilian embassies and consulates in the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the planet's most prestigious soccer tournament that gets underway next month.

The brochure features a list of safety tips designed to prevent tourists from becoming crime victims. “Do not react, scream or argue” with robbers, the brochure advises, according to the Brazilian newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo. Of the two million tourists expected to visit Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, 600,000 are estimated to be foreign tourists, NBC News reported.

The robbery prevention safety tip may be a tactic to stop “latrocinios,” or robberies that end in murder, according to the BBC. “Tourists come mainly from Europe and the United States, where they do not see this crime very often," said Mario Leite, head of World Cup security in Sao Paulo.

Kevin Raub, a writer based in Sao Paulo who contributed the newest Lonely Planet “South America on a Shoestring” travel guide, said he had never heard of the anti-robbery suggestion before, but said it’s easy for a robbery to get out of hand in Brazil

“I haven’t heard about the ‘don’t scream’ advice but can tell you it’s probably solid advice,” he told NBC News. “People have been killed over a backpack and others have been killed simply out of frustration when the thieves couldn’t get what they wanted. It's best not to antagonize them whatsoever.”

Among the other 2014 World Cup safety tips include not showing off valuable items that might grab robbers’ attention, being vigilant at night and ensuring nobody is following you, the BBC reported. Leite said the brochure is needed for tourists to understand Brazil’s high crime rate.

“There is no use crying over spilt milk,” he said.

Raub said many robberies occur on Rio de Janeiro’s famed beaches.

“Rio has seen an increase of something called ‘arrastão,’ which means ‘big sweep,’” he told NBC News. “A wave of thieves line up along the sand and rob everyone in a lightning quick operation that is in and out before beachgoers or police can even blink.”

And the city’s pickpocketers “make David Copperfield look like a lame magician,” he said.

“Your phone will be gone before you can say ‘abracadabra’ and you won't even know until the next time you reach in your pocket for it,” Raub said, adding that his best advice for tourists is to use common sense.

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