A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Credit Felipe Dana / AP
Wallace Aparecido Souza Silva (from left), Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos and Jonathan Foudakis de Souza were arrested this month for allegedly gang-raping an American tourist and beating her male companion in Rio de Janeiro. An alleged accomplice, arrested later, was reported to be 14 years old.
In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.
Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.
"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."
Soccer isn't just a sport in Brazil, it's a religion, and the main temple is the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
The venue is not only the biggest stadium in Brazil but the biggest in South America. Over the weekend, the newly renovated complex reopened to great fanfare, with stirring musical numbers, a light show and dignitaries including Brazil's president.
The headlines in the local media, however, focused not on the fanfare but on the many problems, from flooding in the VIP area to malfunctioning seats and turnstiles. The stadium was also four months late reopening.