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Travel advice

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Brazil, which shares borders with nine other South American countries, is the largest and most populous country on the continent. Despite being politically and economically stable, the country's high crime and kidnapping rates, particularly in urban centres, have led to an overall high-risk country rating. Petty crime, fuelled by elevated levels of poverty, is the most prevalent security concern, but violent crime is also a growing issue. Unlike other countries in South America, criminal activity is pervasive in both low-income and affluent areas of Brazil due to the close proximity of slum areas (commonly referred to as favelas) to wealthy and exclusive suburbs in the country's major urban centres.

In addition, Brazil also has among the highest number of reported kidnapping incidents worldwide. Kidnappings are generally carried out by criminal groups for financial gain, and the problem is particularly acute in the popular south eastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Reports of express kidnappings have also increased in recent times. Protests and demonstrations, often motivated by economic, land and labour issues, occur sporadically in Brazil, particularly in urban centres. Although the majority of such incidents are peaceful, there have been incidents where public demonstrations have erupted into violent civil unrest.

Although the threat of terrorism is low, extremist groups have been known to operate in the tri-border region between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. There have also been reports of Colombian and Peruvian transnational terrorist and criminal groups operating along Brazil's borders with Colombia and Peru respectively.

Brazil's rainy season, the timing of which differs between regions, is often characterised by flash flooding and landslides. These have the potential to disrupt intercity road travel and pose a safety concern to persons in affected areas. Lastly, while infrastructure in Brazil is sound in urban centres, it may be less adequate in more rural areas of the country.

Travel advisories and areas of concern

Due to persistent insecurity stemming from the presence of transnational criminal and terrorist organisations in the tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, clients are advised against all non-essential travel to rural and remote areas of Brazil's Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul states. In addition, clients are advised against all non-essential travel within 50km of Brazil's borders with Colombia and Peru in the states of Amazonas and Acre respectively, due to the threats posed by insurgent and drug trafficking groups in these areas.

Lastly, due to ongoing gang- and drug-related violence, clients are advised against all non-essential travel to low-income neighbourhoods (favelas). These are located primarily in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but remain a feature in most major Brazilian cities.