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Kurtz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kurtz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 23:36
Belem is Hell on Earth. The end of the world is now ... and here ... if you want to see how it looks ... it's called Belem - Brasil.

Edited by Kurtz - 03 February 2012 at 23:37
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Gringodude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gringodude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 23:36
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leroadrunner View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leroadrunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 23:39
Originally posted by rikoinbrazil rikoinbrazil wrote:

I spent 3 days In Belem over this last weekend and had the special experience of being attacked by 5 guys one with a knife. They tried to take my backpack and camera. It happened on the square in the little fishing dock between the fish market and the fort at about 2 pm on Sunday. Broad daylight and all. I managed to fight them off before a couple of cars stopped and they got nothing off me. However I have a stab hole through my shirt and a 4 inch knife graze down my side to take away as a souvenir of Belem! I just felt a menace about the place and be careful if you go there.

sh*t man. Not good. Glad to hear you are safe.

I guess I should put a disclaimer, Bélem is still one of the most violent city in Brazil. The murder rate is one of the highest.

I have spent and still spend a lot of time there, I will be there again in a couple weeks.

Since I am a blond gringo (and boy do I stick out in Bélem), I have learnt to be super cautious in everything I do.

And please dont think I am chastising you, but this is me and what I do, this may help somebody.

1) I would never walk around with a backpack (leave that at the hotel) and even less with a visible camera.

2) I only carry some cash/visa,  a small camera in my pocket (Sanyo Xacti - can do video and/or pics).

3) Leave all your sh*t at the hotel, locked if you can (I lock my suitcase or backpack). But its better if you dont have valuables to start with.

4) I rarely even carry a mobile, if I have one, its a small sh*t one.

5) Btw, as painful as that maybe try to wear long jeans as much as you can. Sounds funny, but they wont pick you as a visitor as much. I even wear black jeans! Keep the shorts and sandals for the beach.

I know exactly the area you mean, I have never walked across

6) I would rather hop on a bus or me paranoid. Even taxi you have to be VERY careful (only the ones that you know that are affiliated with good hotels - the rest ignore), buses are actually safer in my opinion. I have gotten lost in buses in Fortaleza in some pretty nasty areas, just dont get off until you know you are back in a safe spot. Just be relaxed, dont look panicked...enjoy the view! Ya, you can also get assaulted on the bus themselves too, but much rarer, sit closer to the front.

7) If you know the city, instead, rent a car. In the end, its cheaper than all bus/taxi rides. If you are not familiar with the city, take a taxi from the airport or bus terminal to the hotel (or wherever you are staying, friends, etc) and LEAVE your stuff there.

8) You get the idea now...only walk where you know you are safe, if in doubt take a bus or taxi.

There's probably a lot more...but this is a start.

I was just going to say what to do when you get assaulted, but everyone is different and I wouldnt want anyone to lose their life for a material thing...I'll just say, that if I can, I love to teach them a lesson to remember, but dont do this unless you know what you are doing.

By the way, this not only applies to Belém, but anywhere else I go in Brazil.

Just in the hopes that it helps someone...Until you get that feeling of getting assaulted, you never realize how dangerous things can be from one minute or one corner to the other.

Edited by leroadrunner - 03 February 2012 at 23:43
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