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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the last ten days 58 hikers have been robbed on the 3.8 kilometer trail that leads from Parque Lage to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer. According to a report by a local news outlet, the situation led authorities to temporarily close the trail.

Volunteers have posted warning signs along the trail, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Volunteers have posted warning signs along the trail where recent robberies have happened, photo internet recreation.

The head of the Special Delegate of Support to the Tourist (DEAT), Valéria Aragão, defended the measure to representatives of the Tijuca National Park (PNT).

She believes that the site should only be reopened after the contracting of MPs (Polícia Militar or Military Police) by the State Integration Program (PROEIS). “I do not recommend that this trail be used. I suggest, yes, your temporary closure,” she said.

“I have a meeting this week with the park to deal with this officially. We have already pointed out the vulnerabilities.” Aragão explained. “I have been involved in this trail for months and we have made very positive progress from the point of view of research.”

“Ostensible patrolling in the region will never be efficient because human resources in the security forces are overwhelmingly under-resourced,” Valeria concluded. This will be a hard case to make in the midst of the states worst economic crisis in recent memory.

The number of assaults is so great that volunteers nailed posters to trees, with the image of a gun, warning of the risk. In English, they warn that more than 150 people were robbed in the area between January and June. In Portuguese, they also advise: “Be cautious. Do not risk your life”.

American-Brazilian Evan Farr, of the Jinga Experience adventure tourism company shares, “Unfortunately the Corcovado Hike has recently suffered from these incidents. It is a shame to see this happen to such a great Rio experience.”

He explains, “The reality is, it is known that most people hiking the Corcovado trail will be carrying valuables because the summit is Christ the Redeemer, so the hikers become targets.”

Farr adds, “The trails that are least likely for trouble are the more difficult to access, for example the trails deepest into the Tijuca Forest like Pico da Tijuca and Bico de Papagaio, hikes further away from downtown like Telegrafo and Pedra da Tartaruga, and also the community aspect protecting the Dois Irmãos trail seems to keep it the safest in the city.”

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I was robbed along with 4 of my friends on this trail. One of the worst experiences in my life. Don’t go. Even to Rio. The city is far gone to crime and violence. I know many who have been robbed in and around Rio.

  2. But where do you go? I´ve been robbed twice at knifepoint in Recife. The first time was on my veranda in a rural town outside of Recife. They slashed me with knives and left me for dead.

  3. time to do something about the favalas. they are a cancer on the city and rapidly killing Rio. where is the military?

  4. I was mugged here in 1980. Two muggers took my shirt, shoes and trousers and left me there in my underpants.

  5. I worked for an American oil company and was posted to Rio de Janeiro for a 2 year assignment. We have 50 expatriates and families member living in Rio de Janeiro. In my last 2 years of living in the city and mingled with my co-workers, I myself had been robbed twice. Half of my colleagues or their spouse had been robbed or mugged. Some robbing incidents were daring and outrageous.
    My 23 years old Brazilian intern had been robbed 5 times in 5 years. She lived in Tijuca. One time she had a gun pointed at her head inside a 7-11 convenient store. The robber wanted her laptop and phone in her backpack. She pleaded to return the bag to her so that she will still have the school books and notes to read for her coming exam.

    It is sad, truly a hell place on earth.

  6. Well I’ve been to Rio 100s of times since 1998 and have never had an incident…not one. I consider myself very lucky. I’ve hiked trails, been to dodgy Samba Schools and remote bars and beaches at all hours. Realizing that the reality has changed quite a bit over the past years and all the promises of a better Brazil (and Rio) from FWC 2014 and Rio 2016 were for nothing. Again, still waiting and hoping now for nearly 20 years for Brazil to turn the corner.

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