Rio de Janeiro will hold carnival celebrations from February 9 to 13, with the opening ceremony scheduled to start at 13:00 (local time) on Monday, February 9. A parade will be held later that night starting at 21:00. Many of the main events will be held in or around the Sambódromo in the Santo Cristo area of the city. Major transportation disruptions (road closures, traffic congestion) are to be expected, especially in Rio; petty crime rates will also likely rise during the festivities (due to excessive alcohol consumption, crowded conditions, etc.). An estimated 6 million people, including 1.5 million foreign tourists, are expected to participate in the celebrations. Marcelo Crivella, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, has requested federal troops to provide support to local security forces to maintain order during the carnival period. An additional 3400 private security guards will also be hired by the city.
The carnival in Rio de Janeiro comes after a rise in rates of violence was reported in the city and state in 2017, reflecting shortcomings in the state's security policies. According to government statistics, 4974 people were killed in the state in the first nine months of 2017, an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2016. Incidences of armed cargo theft have also reportedly tripled in Rio de Janeiro state from 2013 to 2016, with local companies now spending up to 20 percent of their budgets on security.
Due to the high crime threat in Rio de Janeiro - and throughout Brazil more generally - individuals should remain vigilant during the carnival celebrations, report any suspicious behavior to relevant authorities, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves.
Individuals in Rio are also advised to take precautionary measures to ensure vehicle security. Do not leave your car in an isolated area, and keep car windows closed and doors locked at all times while driving.
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