Brian Winter – Reuters, 07/26/2012
(Reuters) – Murders and robberies are soaring in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and financial capital, in a crime wave that could further hurt the local economy and have national political implications.
Sao Paulo had 622 homicides in the first six months of the year, a 21 percent increase over the same period of 2011, according to government data released this week. Armed robberies grew 8 percent, and are now occurring at the rate of 319 a day in the city of more than 11 million people.
Economists say that crime is a leading factor in the so-called “Brazil cost” – the mix of logistical bottlenecks, high taxes and other costs that make Brazil one of the world’s most expensive places to do business, and have contributed to a sharp economic slowdown over the past year.