11 Apr 2014

World Cup 2014 - Why I'm NOT Excited About It

I’m Brazilian, thus I enjoy football.

Although the above sentence is true, it does not mean I’m excited with Brazil hosting the World Cup and it isn’t only me, but millions of Brazilians around this country. Of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with visitors who will come here to enjoy the matches; on the contrary, all of them will be very welcome. My repulse towards this event is in reason of the money that were spent by Brazilian Government to host this spectacle (I’m talking about billions of dollars) whilst this money could be well used in other Brazilian’s needs like health, public transportation, security and so far. If the government has money to spend on stadiums why hasn’t had resources to invest in its own people?

Again, I also have to speak out against corruption. 

There are stadiums that have been built up in States that have no football team!  For example, the
Stadim "Mané Garrincha" in Brasilia
renovation of the Stadium “Mané Garrincha" in Brasilia, is considered the world’s most expensive and has evidence of being overvalued, according to analysis of the Court of the Federal District. 
The contracts analysed by technicians, showed that the cost of the stadium doubled from R$ 700 million (US$350 million) in 2010 to R$ 1.4 billion (US$700 million) in 2014 apart from saying that after the World Cup, this stadium will rarely be used as Brasilia does not have a great football team. So, how can I be glad to host an event that will cost for us more than we can pay? We, Brazilians, will pay for this mess the government has been doing, for years to come..., and I’m not going to talk about several other stadiums that are being built up in other States. So, can you ever imagine the price will it cost for us? The money foreigners will bring to Brazil during this event will not be enough to pay for this; we Brazilians will have to bear the brunt of it.

Security is also a case of great concern around here. I have written a lot about this subject in my other texts but still, I believe it is a sensitive matter that must be brought back to the spot.
If you are from a Third World, you will survive here with ease since you’re accustomed to bad things. However, if you come from any other country but from Third World, you will endure hard times... I will explain below.

Perhaps you’re used to going for a walk without any fear of having a gun pointed out in your face. I also guess you go anywhere in a decent mean of public transportation. Or, if in need of some kind of help, you might enter into a Police Station in your country and is met by a polite police officer. Well... if this is your reality, do not expect the same here!
We live in fear. Bandits are spread out all over Brazil and the Brazilian law was made with the intention to protect them and not you or me or any other citizen. So there’s a high probability of you being robbed or stolen depending where you go. 

São Paulo State Military Police
In case you’re robbed or stolen, you must call 190, the number of the Military Police. In São Paulo, at least, they are quite correct and will try their best to help you. But do not expect them to be friendly at the beginning. As they are used to coping with all kinds of bandits every single day, so as soon as they arrive at the place you called them on, expect some sort of rudeness until they understand the situation and see you are not the one they will arrest. 
There is also other kind of Police (Civil Police) which is responsible for investigating crimes (they are detectives). So, the MP confronts and arrests criminals and the CP does the bureaucratic job at the Police Station besides investigating them. 

Usually, Civilian Police Officers are very rude. Most of the officers enjoy flaunting themselves in black
São Paulo State Civil Police
uniforms displaying their arsenals as if they were from SWAT, and – with rare exceptions – will treat will with disdain. This Force in Brazil as whole is very inefficient. On average, less than 40% of homicides are solved in the biggest cities (in the minor cities, this average is lower). If we consider that there are more than 50 thousands homicides per year in this country, then only 20.000 homicides are solved – apart from other crimes such as robberies, assassination attempts, etc., that have been not taken into consideration here.

What I’m picturing is the paint as a whole is our reality. Of course, it does not mean you are coming here and will be robbed. I just want you to be aware that there is a POSSIBILITY of it to occur. I hope you come here and have fun with your family and friends without any inconvenience but you must to be aware of it. Certainly during this period of celebrations will be more police officers on the streets than the usual and, maybe, crime rates will be lower but, it is an ASSUMPTION. So, you must take care of yourself.

It’s possible, as well, you try to board a train and not be able get in due to it be overcrowded, or even try to get on a bus and be not able to board due to same reason (the rush hour -05:30-09:30- is the worst time to go somewhere in the big cities). Traffic in São Paulo is so horrible that sometimes you spend 2-3 hours to drive about 10 kilometres; then, be aware of it!

A crowded station in an Underground (Subway) in SP during rush hour
Apart from all those cited problems, what have drawn us to protest on the streets were (and still are) the blatant corruption that plagues this country. At this time they, the politicians, are taking advantage of those spending on the World Cup to pocket more money from Brazilians. We do not want to jeopardise tourists; we just want to get attention of the world to our main (and hidden) problems that the World Cup will not solve – and that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is trying to conceal – that means, our social problems. 

Next blog, I will write some tips and tricks about what to do, where to buy, and where to go when you come here. There are lots of nice things you can do here, excluding those above problems.