Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries on planet Earth. It's also a pretty dangerous place to tour. The main trouble in Brazil is the epic crime rate, with a murder rate four times that of the United States [source: Department of State]. Murder is just the tip of the iceberg in Brazil. High numbers of rapes, robberies and "quicknappings" occur. These are a new kind of crime where a person is abducted for a short amount of time with a quick payoff, typically from a drive to an ATM machine. Economically depressed areas like Sao Paulo and Salvador are some of the most dangerous spots on Earth for gang violence. The crime doesn't just stick around the barrio though. Rio de Janeiro, one of Brazil's premier tourist vacation destinations is also a hotbed of criminal activity. The growing chasm between the upper and lower classes in Brazil threaten to keep the violence going for the foreseeable future.
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