There's a Brazilian popular adagio that states, "God is Brazilian".
It can only be some kind of mockery.
Some bad taste kind of mockery.
You go to Rio, take a car ride from Ipanema to Ilha do Governador (Governor's Island) and see a huge "favela" surrounding the road. That is Favela da Maré, one of Rio's most dangerous spots. Don't be surprised if you witness a theft, maybe more than one, then you'll be thinking, is this Rio?
Yes, mate, this is.
At that same long road, you'll notice several youngsters strolling amongst the cars when the traffic is jammed, selling cookies packages. You'll wonder if this is a way of making a living. In this country, it is. I warn you, though: many of those boys aren't sellers, but thieves.
If you're unlucky enough to be robbed or to witness a crime, perhaps you ask yourself, where is the police?
Rio's police is worse equipped than Mare's outlaws, and poorly trained. There are no few policemen who dread organised crime. And there are also those who pretend it doesn't exist or are allied to it.
Most of Rio's politicians are gangsters. Frank Underwood is from Rio. So is Jeoffrey Lannister. Or they reckon themselves comedians, like the mayor, who said a roo would suffice to make Aussie athletes put up with their damaged apartments at the Olympic Village.
Many entrepreneurs are outlaws. Wilson Fisk lives in Leblon, loves Ipanema's art galleries and bookshops, but carries business in Favela da Mare, Morro do Alemao and beheads his enemies with his corny limo's door.
Organised crime is also very strong in Northern and Central regions of Brazil, where law is not but a joke. Agribusinessmen behave as gangsters: they devastate huge land extensions and NEVER get sued or fined. They NEVER go to jail, even if they menace and kill whoever dares to question or criticise their deeds. Remember nun Dorothy Stang.
Oh, they get elected to the Senate and the House of Representatives! You bet! They have recently succeeded to change Brazilian Codigo Florestal (Forest Protection Act) into a "License to Devastate Act".
You recognise them easily. They (recklessly) drive huge pickup trucks and SUVs. They behave as if the whole world were their own backyard. They speak aloud, invade other people's space and become very cross and rude to whoever dares to ask them speak lower.
In fact, many Brazilians behave alike and even think it's "cool".
Brazilian House of Representatives has been infected by religious extreme rightists and gangsters. People who think that public revenue is theirs by divine design. A Congressman flew to a marriage party in a military aircraft and was not sued. It has been recently disclosed that another congressman has a U$ 5 million bank account in Switzerland, amount which largely exceeds his earnings as a representative.
Brazilian judges are petty tyrants who convict anyone who dares to criticise them publicly. A newsstand owner has been convicted for 7, seven years in jail, just because of his Facebook posts (only to his friends visible) on a judge, deemed as offensive. In the meantime, a Brazilian politician, criminally convicted in France, has never been convicted in Brazil, where he is friends with many judges from São Paulo...
There are no passenger trains in Brazil. Once upon a time, there used to be. My grandfather, a Portuguese immigrant, worked as a blacksmith for Sorocabana Railways, which is now just history.
The decision to dismount railroad passenger transportation was undemocratically taken by the then Government, headed by Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, aka FHC.
This decision's result is easily visible: Kilometres' ride of traffic jam on roads.
Nobody has ever been sued because of that disastrous and illegal decision.