25 Feb 2016

President Dilma warns athletes to take precautions during Rio-16

Despite Olympic organisers insisting that Rio-2016 in Brazil this August will not be affected by the outbreak of the Zika Virus, the President Dilma Rousseff warned athletes and visitors to smother themselves in mosquito repellent to minimise the risks, besides wearing long sleeves clothing and trousers!
Dilma Rousseff speaking to students in the Northeast of Brazil

It looks like a joke to use such kind of clothing in Rio de Janeiro where the weather is always hot and moist during the entire year, but it is exactly what she said at a press conference held in Rio de Janeiro.

Epidemiologists have warned that the Olympics could accelerate the spread of the disease to other
countries through infections of athletes and other visitors. But the organisers played down such fears, saying the Games will be held in Brazil’s “winter” when the cooler, drier weather will reduce the number of mosquitoes. What wasn’t said is the the winter in Rio de Janeiro, means an average temperature of 26ºC!

Visitors must exercise a high degree of caution in Brazil during their stay, not only because the virus itself but also in reason of other serious killers “viruses”: violent crimes, particularly in major cities.

6 Feb 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics and Brazil's Economic Crisis

Despite the biggest sport event is coming to Rio de Janeiro, here, in Brazil, there’s no excitement about it. The reason is the economic and political crisis which has been taking this country into a worrying mess.

The number of jobs in the formal sector fell by 1.5m in 2015, the fastest pace of job destruction since comparable records began in 1992. As for the analysts, another 1m could be lost this year. Sales of vehicles dropped by a fifth last year and in spite of the recession, inflation has risen to nearly 11%, its highest level since 2002!

Apart from this economic crisis, Brazilian prosecutors are fully investigating the vast bribery scandal centred on the state-controlled oil-giant Petrobras, where there are expectations in more additional charges being filed against senior figures in Ms President Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT), which has already been badly tarnished by the affair. An even bigger worry for President Rousseff is the threat of impeachment against her on unrelated allegations that she assented to the use of accounting tricks to hide the true size of Brazil’s fiscal deficit.

Then, with these problems to be sorted out, the famous Brazilian Carnival and the Olympic Games
Brazilian Carnival
are fading away in the Brazilian spots. To add more problems to this economic-political crisis, the country also has been suffering high taxes of criminality. Police officers are being shot on the streets, drug battles are taking place in all over the country - mainly in Rio de Janeiro where the Olympics Games will occur - kidnappings, robberies and rapes are considered almost “normal” on TV Channels that shows the daily basis of criminality in Brazil.

No. It isn’t “only” this.
The Zika virus host transmitter
We cannot forget that the “Zika” virus is also part of this bundle. This virus is suspected to be responsible for microcephaly (abnormally small head) on babies. It is recommended that pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant discuss their travel plans to Brazil, with their health care provider to assess their risk. The “most affected” states with this virus so far, are: Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Piauí, Ceará, Bahia (where its Carnival is well-known all over the world) and Goiás. But it’s also related cases of it in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other States. 

But, if you tourist, is ready to face all this, I will give you an advice: be careful and watch out your surroundings. Political, economical and health crisis, we are able to overcome but, criminality is
Drug soldiers on the streets of Rio de Janeiro
almost like a cancer in Brazil; there’s no cure. Criminals see tourists as a easy prey to be caught and they don’t care about anything. The Brazilian criminal law is too old and so, there are several breaches on laws where crime as a whole, pays off. Then, taking advantage of it, they commit all kinds of horror towards their victims. BE CAREFUL!

Apart from this chaos, welcome to Brazil! We, ordinary citizens, will threat will with the attention you deserve and “Cariocas” (people who’s born in Rio) are really nice people and for sure you will enjoy them! 

PS.: I’m not “Carioca”, I am “Paulista”, born in São Paulo :).

Welcome to no-law jungle!