I arrived in Rio de Janiero yesterday and was a bit nervous given the discussions in the media regarding the recent outbreak of violence but after spending the past 24 hours here, I have to say that the media has made this story far worse than it was. The Brazilian media took this story and turned it into a 24 hour event that got all media coverage all the time. And of course the international press picked up the stories and ran with it as well. Here in the Zona Sul (Copa, Ipanema, etc..) all is normal. A few extra police officers on the street but nothing strange. I believe in the years leading up to 2014 and 2016, the police here are really going to rid the city of the drug gangs but as the saying goes, it's always darkest right before the sun rises and that is what is happening - we'll see some nasty blowups like what happened this week over the next few years but it's for the better. This is an amazing city, an amazing country and improving security for all its citizens is a very welcome thing!
Seems that life is back to normal here in the Cidade Maravillosa... the beaches are packed, the men are gorgeous, and the sun is shining so bright! God bless Rio!!!!