UK’s FCO advises on travel to riot-torn Brazil

The UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the department responsible for the welfare of British citizens overseas, has issued updated travel advice for UK residents that are planning to visit Brazil.

The new advice comes in the wake of recent violent protests that have erupted in a number of major Brazilian cities. Sao Paulo was the latest city to witness the violence, following similar incidents that had already affected parts of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

What started out as a low-key protest over a 10 percent fare increase on many of the South American nation’s buses, quickly became a more general and enflamed demonstration against the cost burden that the country is shouldering as it prepares to host both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. The demonstrators apparently feel that more money should be spent on education, and transport. The level of protest escalated and the BBC has reported that business outlets have been vandalised by protestors wearing masks, who fought with others that were attempting to stop the violence.

The FCO’s statement on the demonstrations says, ‘Some of these have turned violent. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media, follow the guidance of the local authorities and expect some disruption to travel.

‘If you intend to visit a British Consulate, please check before travelling as some opening hours have been disrupted.

‘Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods. Bank card fraud is common.’