There is more to Brazil than Natal - Discover Maceio

Discussion in 'Brazil Property' started by Brazilian Homes, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Dotty

    Dotty Banned


    I do not sell properties in J.Pessoa and am not an agent.I'm just a very satisfied and impressed customer who experienced a city that functions very well!

    Hope this helps.
  2. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Did you buy any property while you were there?
  3. dhoskings

    dhoskings New Member

    Did somebody pay you to write this as you are never this positive about anything. Or am I missing some other ulterior motive on your part?

    I have been to J.P. a few times and while it is nice it isn't as great as you say it is which raises suspicions.

    I can't believe you claim to have written all that yourself, you never research most of the statements you make, so why suddenly start now :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
  4. Dotty

    Dotty Banned


    What curry do you prefer Vindaloo or Madras??It's the same as a City.When you live it there isn't a need to research it.

  5. dhoskings

    dhoskings New Member

    But you don't live in J.P.!!!

    Therefore you must have done some research to find out that J.P. "is the second greenest city on the planet after Paris" and "120 new buses designed with all modcon adapted for the disabled and buggied families.".

    So good on you Dotty, you have finally started doing research ...:):)
  6. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    Hello Dave,

    Well actually you are wrong again !

    No research just an amazing .Hope you enjoy your next trip to J.P. as a tourist or investor.

  7. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    Hello Dave,

    Well actually you are wrong again !

    No research just an amazing journey .Hope you enjoy your next trip to J.P. as a tourist or investor. What do you find positive about J.P or negative?

  8. dhoskings

    dhoskings New Member

    Phew, I was getting a bit worried that you were starting to do some research ... :rolleyes:
  9. rogerg

    rogerg New Member


    How is the current beach front housing market in Maceio, my wife and I are currently looking for a retirement home.
  10. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    I've been to Maceio and thought it was very nice, especially the beaches to the north and a peruan ceviche restaurant.
  11. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    You're quite right Rob, there's nowhere as safe and organized and downright bloody amazing as Pipa or Natal. Thank the Lord you're selling property there. That is ofcourse if there's any left .
  12. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    taken off your website brazilian homes;

    Urban myths??:D:D:D:D:D

    Tell tha to the 53,000 people that are murdered every year here. And the most violent cities in brazil, per capita, aren't Rio and SP, matter of fact they're not in the top 100!

    Guys like you give agents the sleazy name that many apparently deserve.

    And in 2007 we had 53,000 total murders here. It puts brazil squarely in 5th most dangerous country on the planet with an overall murder rate of 23 per 100,000. To put that in perspective, the U.S. has a murder rate of 4 per 100K, and the UK at 1 per 100K.

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  13. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    Congratulations Ralph. It's encouraging to see that not everyone is interested in misportraying Brazil for their own financial benefit.
  14. dhoskings

    dhoskings New Member

    I am not too surpised, this is from the same guy that told me that Touros was going to be the next Pipa which I found pretty funny when I went there.

    Not sure about you quoted story though. The figures are from 2004 which is 5 years ago and the story was written 2.5 years ago.

    One question wasn't there or isn't there still a prison on Ilha de Itamaracá which accounts for the very high murder rate there? What about Foz do Iguaçu which is a haven for smugglers and even middle eastern terrorist groups which might have something to do with the high murder rate which has dropped significantly in recent years.

    There is always a problem with raw statistics, which is why figures are always normalised or adjusted. I would love to see some adjusted figures with all the anomalous conditions unique to Brazil taken out, such as the indian land disputes, prisons, etc. You might find it is lot lower than you think.

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  15. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    Well, if you want to not include murders realted to drugs you should probably attempt to do that in all the other countries in the world, which I feel certain would leave the U.S. as one of the safest countries on the planet.

    The reason for the stats from 2004 is because the only stats we have available since then are from 2006, and those were WORSE than 2004, not better. If you look at the statistical trends places like the U.S. are improving in their public security, while brazil is not.

    Take it from someone on the ground here. Or better yet, I can put you in touch with DOZENS of foreign investors, primarily english, who either have been assaulted, mugged, or wounded. And many in their own homes at night, doors locked and minding their own business.

    Foz de Iguaçu, no doubt, a haven for islamic terrorists. They were responsible for the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in the early 1990's, but they don't make a dent in the overall murder rate here.

    One thing that you and others need to understand about brazil.....there is a complete breakdown in the judicial as well as law enforcement system. So what do people do? What would you do if a crime was committed against you or your family and you knew that the police would do nothing?

    Well, many take the law in their own hands. They know that's their only recourse. Believe me my friend, I know all too well this country. If someone harms my daughter, I'll never go to the police. It would never do any good anyway. I'll handle it myself.

    If you want links or statistics taken from Brazil's own federal gov't agencies....I have them.

    And that's simply the reality on the ground here in Brazil...and it doesn't matter where you are!
  16. dhoskings

    dhoskings New Member

    How can you say there is a valid statistical trend when you only have figures from 3 1/2 years ago, that is laughable :D

    I wasn't talking about drugs, I was talking about the fights between indians and land owners, and a prison that is on an island which would obviously increase the murder rate, yet pose no problems for the locals. Foz de Iguaçu has calmed down as the Brazilian government is cracking down on the smugglers.

    I too am on the ground frequently and I know that Brazil is nowhere near the safest place in the world, but you aren't doing anyone any favours using old stats and anecdotal evidence.

    One other question, why do you live in Brazil if it is so dangerous and why do you sell property to people who in your opinion would be crazy to buy there.

  17. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    First of all, I don't sell property here anymore. I've just recently sold one of our assets here and just have one more to go. After that, I'm gone.

    And even when I was selling I didn't misrespresent the reality on the ground here. And if you think that Brazil is safe, or has been getting better in the recent years regarding public security, well, you haven't a clue my friend.

    I posted statistics here about Maceio from 2 months ago refuting a comment by an agent here claiming Maceio was one of the safest cities in Brazil!!!

    Well, if that's true, god help us all!

    Obviously you're yet another who either, A. has some interest in misrepresenting the reality on the ground here, or B. yet another clueless, gullible gringo.
  18. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    And please D....hunt for murder stats for brazil as a whole after'll see you won't find any!!!

    Wonder why that is?

    Do ya just think it may be because Brazil doesn't like publishing these kinds of stats? Or even keeps thorough track of them?

    If you want some more stats I've got them, and they'll shock you and anyone who reads this thread concerning life here in Brazil.

    Don't try and defend the indefensible. Just admit it's a helluva dangerous place, the 5th most dangerous country in the world as a matter of fact, and I'll let it go. But keep trying to defend it and I'll post so many embarrassing statistics here that you'll wish you would've kept your mouth shut. Especially if you have an interest in selling this place.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  19. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    And that goes to show how much you know!! Do you know "WHY" the brazilian gov't is cracking down on smugglers in that area?

    Because since 2003 the Brazilian gov't. allowed a total of 4,500 agents from the FBI and homeland security to "set up shop" in the tri-border region of Foz de Iguaçu and Ciudade del Este since it's a well known area for islamic terrorist organizations. Matter of fact Osama bim Laden himself was there in's a well documented fact, even by the brazilian media. So it hasn't been any great law enforcement effort on the part of Brazil. It's been the insistance of the U.S. as well as their presence and the inability, or at least difficulty since the presence of U.S. law enforcement for the corrupt police to allow these terrorist organizations to operate freely as they did before.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  20. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    This is from a brazilian Ph.D.

    Written by Augusto Zimmermann
    Friday, 22 February 2008 23:13

    Welcome to Brazil, a Paradise of Impunity for All Kinds of Criminals

    Brazil has faced an explosion of violence and criminality over the last two decades, cheapening human life in spite of the status the law ascribes to it. Although public security is declared by the Brazilian Constitution to be a "fundamental right" of its citizens, the reality is that criminals have little or nothing to fear by way of punishment.

    Only a very small number of crimes are ever successfully prosecuted, even first-degree murder and rape. The objective of this article is to offer a broad account of the manifold deficiencies in the application of criminal laws in Brazil, offering both legal and extra-legal explanations for this situation.

    According to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), around 600,000 people were killed in Brazil between 1980 and 2000, an average of 30,000 a year.

    For purposes of comparison, the thirty-year civil war that devastated Angola killed 350,000 people, nearly half of that. This means that the number of deaths by killing in Brazil easily falls within the U.N. parameters designating a civil war.

    The arm of the law has never been so poorly applied in the country. In some areas of the Brazilian cities, criminals have established what Brazilians describe as a "parallel government." In favelas (shantytowns), drug lords have assumed a position of total dominance over community institutions.

    These areas have become completely exempt from the normal processes of law and order, with public authorities not even daring to go there, expecting to be ruthlessly attacked by criminal groups if they so dare. And there is a strong feeling amongst Brazilians that these no-go areas are spreading. In today's Brazil, notes Joseph A. Page,

    "Violent crime can strike at any time and in any place. Crowded city streets offer no refuge, as muggers prey on pedestrians and occupants of motor vehicles while onlookers go silently about their business. Those not wealthy enough to convert their dwellings into fortresses can never be certain that one day intruders might not force their way in and commit violence against them."

    Once known internationally as the Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvellous City), Rio de Janeiro can now be better described as a "powder keg" or a "city under siege." More people die every year in that city as victims of violence than did all American soldiers during the Vietnam War.

    In May 2004, Rio's security secretary, Anthony Garotinho, acknowledged that the situation is clearly running "out of control," and that "to say the opposite would be to ignore the reality." A vivid description of such a stark reality has been provided by this May 2003 article published in London daily The Guardian:

    "Heavily armed drug gangs launched a series of audacious attacks that have shocked the city's residents. Homemade bombs were thrown at the luxury Hotel Le Meridian on Copacabana beachfront and at a hotel and restaurant in nearby Leblon... Shots were fired at the up-market Hotel Glória. A grenade was thrown at one shopping centre and another was machine-gunned. Scores of buses [were] burned out and gun battles close the city's main roads."

    If crime and violence constitute serious problems in Brazil's cities, the countryside is not much better off, with radical "social movements" like the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem-Terra (MST) busy invading productive farms with violence, sometimes leading to brutal clashes with landowners.

    According to Luiz Antônio N. Garcia, the president of the Democratic Ruralist Union (UDR), when land invasions are carried out, "the police stand by with arms crossed, because the government has no will to enforce the law." According to the U.S. State Department:

    "Many persons were killed in recent years in conflicts involving disputes over land ownership and usage. The land rights organization known as the Movement of the Landless (MST) continued its campaign of invasion and occupation of private and public lands that it wanted the federal and state governments to expropriate for land reform. The MST also continued its occupation of public buildings. MST activists often used confrontational and violent tactics, and destroyed private property during some occupations."

    In April 2004, the MST "gave hell" to Brazil by carrying out their "Red April" campaign. This was a month-long period involving massive invasions of productive farms and public buildings. The only farms invaded were those applying the latest technology in agriculture, which is the only sector generating trade surplus for the country.

    In southern Bahia, a tree plantation part owned by Swedish investors was invaded by MST activists, who cut down all its eucalyptus trees. In Goiás, the MST invaded a property used for research, training, and seed-processing, for the stated reason that the radical organization wished to put a stop to "the business of producing for export."

    Since Brazil's land ownership is one of the most inequitable in the world, it is easy to accept the necessity of land reform. But one can of course agree with this without having to support violence and lawlessness. And yet, as exhaustively reported, the MST has constantly engaged in lootings, highway robberies, invasion of farms, destruction of factories and public buildings, and hostage-taking.

    Such has this been the case that even the renowned constitutional law professor Ives Gandra da Silva Martins, from the highly prestigious University of São Paulo, accuses the MST of constantly "trampling on the rule of law."

    Violence Against Children

    There are several provisions in Brazilian law regarding the protection of children against all forms of abuse, violence, and sexual exploitation. But the basic problem here is the enormous gap separating children's rights as inscribed in law from their effective exercise or guarantee in practice. According to Page:

    "Nowhere does the gap separating rhetoric and reality emerge more starkly than in the contrast between the guarantees afforded children by the 1988 Constitution and the cold-blooded assassination of boys and girls who live on city streets. If there is anything that most vividly symbolizes the perversity of the contemporary wave of violence in Brazil, it is the way it has victimized children."

    There are now seven million abandoned children living on the streets of Brazilian cities. Crimes against these children are characterized by extreme brutality and include torture and dismemberment. Often their bodies are left out on the streets "to serve as example for others."

    Those who manage to survive another day are left worrying about where their next meal will come from and finding a safe place to sleep. A social worker has suggested that these children are subject to a process of "natural selection," in which only the strong survive to adulthood and the weak die early from disease and violence.

    Street children, utterly deprived of their most basic needs, often become victims of death squads or other forms of violence born of their precarious situation. Since they often resort to theft to survive, some people have paid death squads to "clean up the streets" and get rid of such an "inconvenience."

    Unfortunately, many Brazilians believe that the extra-legal killing of street children is a legitimate measure to combat criminality and violence, because they feel revolted with the unrealistic legal "solutions" provided by the state. As Page explains:

    "What rackets up public outrage against street urchins even higher is the cloak of impunity that protects children who kill, assault, and rob. The legal system does not brand them criminals but instead uses the more euphemistic term infratores (lawbreakers) and does not subject them to punishment.

    "Under a statute enacted in 1990, a lawbreaker under twelve years of age is generally released into the custody of his family or surrogate family. A lawbreaker over twelve will be sent to a state institution specially designed for adolescents. These facilities are so antiquated and overcrowded that there is constant pressure to release the wrongdoers as soon as possible, and children escape from them regularly."

    Also noticeable is that the Brazilian Constitution openly stipulates that teenagers between the ages of fourteen and seventeen cannot work in hazardous, unhealthy, nocturnal, or morally harmful environments. In practice, however, even small children engage in such work and activities, including drug trafficking and child prostitution.

    A 2002 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) reveals that more than 3,000 girls from the sparsely populated state of Rondônia are subject to conditions of slavery and prostitution.

    Working children are left vulnerable to all sorts of accidents in the workplace. There are many reports of children illegally working in areas such as the charcoal, sugarcane, and footwear industries. They have reportedly suffered accidents and illness, including "dismemberment, gastrointestinal disease, lacerations, blindness, and burns caused by applying pesticides with inadequate protection."

    According to law, children can only travel with the permission of their parents. But in practice, many of them have been trafficked for prostitution. Girls from rural areas are recruited in cities as prostitutes by strip clubs and modelling agencies, as well as through "wanted" advertisements. Along the coastal areas, sexual tourism involves child prostitution and is facilitated by travel agents, hotel workers and taxi drivers.

    The United Nations has estimated that around 500,000 Brazilian children are victims of sexual exploitation. The U.N. also states that in the northern and northeastern regions, "most sexual crimes against children and adolescents are not investigated, and in some cases representatives of the judiciary are involved in those cases."

    Violence Against Women

    Violence against women is, historically, a frequent occurrence in Brazil. According to the United Nations, Brazilian women are "frequently exposed" to all forms of sexual victimization. A 2004 document by the UN-Habitat informs that the country has one of the highest levels of incidents in the world falling under the categories of rape, attempted rape, and indecent assault. The report continues on to state that such violent crimes against women are often under-reported and the perpetrators very unlikely left unpunished.

    A 2001 study by the Perseu Abramo Foundation found that 2.1 million Brazilian women become victims of physical abuse every year. Put another way, every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the country. The study also states that 6.8 million women have received beatings from their partners, relatives, and other acquaintances.

    According to the Health Minister, Saraiva Felipe, in 2004 alone 189,000 women over the age of 10 were admitted to hospital with fractures, dislocations, and traumas received to various parts of the body, including the skull.

    Violence against Workers

    Under the Brazilian Constitution any form of forced labour is strictly forbidden, the Criminal Code punishing perpetrators with no less than eight years jail. However, cases have been reported of forced labour in Brazil's northern and central-western regions.

    In such areas, forced labour has involved the exploitation of children in activities such as agriculture and the raising of livestock. Moreover, illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay work in big cities like São Paulo under conditions the International Labor Organization (ILO) describes as "analogous to slavery." According to the U.S. Department of State,

    "The abolition of forced labor [in Brazil] has been hindered by failure to impose effective penalties, the impunity of those responsible, delays in judicial procedure, and the absence of coordination between the various governmental bodies."

    The ILO estimates that in the Amazonian region alone 25,000 people are working as slaves in a range of activities varying from the clearing of jungle for ranchers to the production of pit iron for charcoal smelters. The ILO says that these people have been treated "worse than animals."

    They live under plastic sheeting with no sanitation, and eat from tin cans previously used to hold pesticides. Their workday is from dawn to dusk, and gunmen are hired to ensure order and prevent any from escaping. Some congressmen have been discovered benefiting from this very sort of slave activity on their own ranches.


    There is little doubt that impunity is a major contributing cause of criminality in Brazil. The state authorities are either unable to or lack concern over protecting the most basic rights of the citizen. In 2003, the U.N. revealed that only 7.9% of the 49,000 cases of murder officially reported in that year were successfully prosecuted.

    The police in fact rarely catch criminals, because cases are normally not investigated diligently, even when they would involve very serious offences like rape, torture and first-degree murder. Instead, police investigations are often conducted in an utterly superficial and incomplete manner, if not visibly performed with bad-faith.

    As a result, even the most nauseating cases of first-degree murder may not produce sufficient evidence to initiate the trial of a well-known perpetrator. Brazilian courts condemn only 1% of all suspects for first-degree murder.

    Judges argue, among other things, that this is because inquiries transferred to the courts by the public prosecution are so poorly elaborated that it leaves insufficient evidence to condemn even a notorious serial killer. As for those who have been convicted of serious crimes such as first-degree murder, sentences are so lenient that they are freed after only a few years in prison.

    With regard to crimes concerning violence against women, the vast majority of criminal complaints are suspended without final conclusion. A 2002 document of the World Organization Against Torture (WOAT) states that only 2% of complaints have led to any conviction.

    As for those very few cases resulting in any form of conviction, the WOAT points out the shortcomings inherent in "very light" punishments for first-degree murder and rape. According to Dr Norma Kyriakos, a former attorney-general of São Paulo state:

    "Instead of giving him [the criminal] community service [or jail sentence], judges propose he pays for a basket of food or other goods for a charitable institution. And so the man keeps doing it because he knows that's all he'll have to pay... Women today are still afraid to go to the police because they are afraid of their attackers... They know that when they are finished here with the delegada [i.e.; female chief police] or judge they are on their own again."

    A case that richly illustrates the current situation occurred in 1983. It concerned a woman who was left paraplegic after suffering numerous murder attempts by her husband. After waiting more than 15 years for any judicial decision, she decided to file, with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, a lawsuit against the Brazilian government. The outcome was that in 2001, members of the Commission judged the Government guilty of negligence, omission, and tolerance with regard to domestic violence against women.

    Dr. Candido Mendes Prunes, a jurist with a Ph.D. from the prestigious University of São Paulo (USP), has commented that ongoing policies regarding public security in Brazil are tantamount to an "invitation to criminality." He accuses the Brazilian state of providing a whole "package of incentives" to criminals, such as to leave little legal recourse to the honest citizen for the protection of his rights.

    Included in this "package" are the lack of preventive policing, the lack of ability to investigate cases diligently, and the important matter of judicial delay. The last "incentive" has occurred, he explains, because long police enquiries can allow offenders to benefit from the statute of limitations, limiting the time allowed to try suspects.

    As a practical consequence, the Brazilian population is naturally inclined to believe that criminals have very little or nothing to fear from the state in terms of punishment. This environment of impunity explains why so many Brazilians have resorted to taking justice into their own hands.

    And despite how primitive such do-it-yourself justice may seem, mob executions and lynchings have become a daily occurrence across the nation. Such behaviour can be seen as a spontaneous reaction to the numerous instances of theft, rape, and murder that exist.

    Indeed, the Organization of American States (OAS) has suggested that such actions represent a natural solution to "the lack of a functional and effective police system, and the fact that the public does not believe in the effectiveness of the justice system." According to political-science professors Katherine Hite and Leonardo Morlino,

    "The majority of Brazilians attribute high levels of crime and everyday violence to weak authority. Yet citizens also perceive the... police as corrupt, unjust, and above the law. Thus, while there is indifference and even support for harsh treatment of alleged criminals, there is also a strong sense that "justice is a joke" and "impunity is widespread.""


    An argument that is unduly simplistic is that which attributes the growth of first-degree killings to poverty. Since poverty has been a constant in Brazil's history, one cannot properly explain why it would by itself be the reason for the astounding growth of criminality following democratisation in the 1980s.

    Despite this, criminality is ordinarily interpreted by the Brazilian elite as merely stemming from a socially deprived environment. Such an interpretation is somewhat understandable in light of the guilt and shame felt by the elite, as it bears primary responsibility for the state of the nation.

    But this view fails to consider that crime can also be the simple result of personal choice. While there is truth in the suggestion that some criminals have emerged from a background of social deprivation, such determinism is demonstrated inadequate by the many exceptions to the rule.

    It is, after all, an unfair slur on the many millions of poor Brazilians who, having grown up in utterly deprived socio-economic conditions, are nevertheless honest citizens who have never resorted to crime. Besides (and by way of contrast) numerous are the crimes currently committed by members of the Brazilian elite, particularly wealthy youngsters, corrupt judges, bad politicians, and "white-collar" people such as public officers, doctors and lawyers.

    The main motivation for such crimes is not need but greed, because the perpetrators know that the lei da impunidade ("law of impunity") is the "law" most commonly applied to people like them.

    Naturally, the combination of poor education, poor work habits, and a difficult socio-economic environment can make some people to find in crime an alternative form of employment. In the context of impunity and a lack of incentives for honest economic activity, the option of crime can indeed appear attractive.

    It is surely more attractive in the present circumstances than if there were a real fear of punishment. Unfortunately, the easiest target for dangerous criminals are those who cannot afford to pay for "special protection" and have had their constitutional right to public security violated by the Brazilian government.

    Politico-Ideological Reasons

    Given that the number of Brazilians murdered from 1985 (the last year of the military regime) to 2005 grew by 237 percent, many critics of the military regime have sought to ascribe to that period of authoritarianism the present malady, suggesting that it may have contributed to the country's present "culture" of violence and impunity.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009

Share This Page