Luxury hotel guests in Rio robbed at gunpoint

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on July 19, 2011

Armed robbers invaded a luxury hotel in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, relieving guests of their spending money and mobile phones, as confirmed by Brazilian police.

At least four men scaled walls to enter central Rio’s Santa Teresa Hotel in the early hours of the morning, according to officers. As has been well-documented,   Rio authorities have been trying to clear out several shantytowns in an attempt to root out gangs while tackling violent crime.

While this might be so, security still remains an issue throughout Rio as it tries to be as well-prepared as possible for the World Cup in 2014, which it will jointly host with other Brazilian cities, and the 2016 Olympics.

The Santa Teresa hotel, which is situated in a neighbourhood that goes by the same name, alleges on its website that it offers both peace of mind and a comforting degree of safety to its guests.  On Monday though, security cameras showed the men managing to get over the perimeter’s wall in the first few hours of yesterday morning.

The attackers robbed at least 10 guests, with the majority of them foreign tourists, it was reported by the Brazilian media.  The robbers escaped, with no reports of any notable injuries being sustained by the unfortunate guests.

At present, the famous city is hosting the prestigious World Military Games, which have brought together 6,000 athletes from over 100 countries. By many, the event is viewed as being an essential part of the preparations for the Olympics and the earlier World Cup.

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