Navel gazing


We South Africans; well, some of us at least; enjoy nothing more than believing we have it the worst in the world when it comes to crime and the like. Spare a thought for our fellow-Gini-coefficient deliquents Brazil.

The US news agency Associated Press reports Brazil yesterday sent 1200 extra police into the streets of Rio de Janeiro to halt an upsurge of roadblocks and mass robberies by gangs.

Rio has been hit by a spike in violence since Sunday, with at least five mass robberies of motorists on key highways, including the one leading to the international airport, The AP reports. “Witnesses say the armed men have blocked roadways with cars, then moved down the line of trapped vehicles, yanking people from their cars and robbing them in broad daylight. One man who resisted was shot to death in a poor area of northern Rio, police said.
“Suspected drug gang members, armed with assault rifles, pistols and even grenades, have tossed molotov cocktails into several of the cars after motorists fled.” Police responded by deploying riot officers on expressways into the city of 6 million people and sending patrols into 16 gang-controlled shantytowns to hunt down gang members they hold responsible for the attacks.”

Imagine that on the way to OR Tambo or Cap Town International airports! We have our faults, we have our travails and issues but we have much to be grateful for.