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Country Description: Brazil has a developing economy. Facilities for tourism are good in the major cities, but vary in quality in remote areas.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Brazilian visas must be obtained in advance as immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. Minors (under 18) traveling alone, with one parent or with a third party must present written authorization by the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent or with a third party. This authorization must be notarized, authenticated by the Brazilian embassy or nearest consulate, and translated into Portuguese. For current information concerning entry and customs requirements for Brazil, travelers may contact the Brazilian Embassy at 3009 Whitehaven St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 745-2828 or the nearest consulate in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Miami, New York, Chicago or San Juan.

Medical Facilities: Medical care varies in quality, particularly in remote areas. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Medicare/Medicaid do not provide payment of medical services outside the United States. In some cases, medical insurance with specific overseas and medical evacuation coverage has proven useful. For additional health information, travelers may contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The incidence of crime against tourists tends to be greater in areas surrounding hotels, discotheques, bars, nightclubs and other similar establishments that cater to visitors, especially at dusk and during the evening hours. Kidnappings of wealthy residents and carjackings of luxury and four-wheel-drive vehicles are increasing. Several Brazilian cities have established specialized tourist police units to patrol areas frequented by tourists.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's most popular tourist destination, understandably experiences a proportionately high amount of crime against tourists. While still very serious, the rate of crime has lessened somewhat due to the deployment of tourist police units in 1992. Crime against U.S. citizen tourists generally takes the form of street thefts and robberies adjacent to the main beach areas of Rio.

Sao Paulo has noted a recent increase in street crime where guns are involved. This has occurred especially in the downtown areas. Additionally, Sao Paulo has reported thefts at its international airport (Guarulhos) involving carry-on luggage or briefcases which had been set down, sometimes for a moment. Arriving and departing travelers should be especially vigilant and take the necessary precautions at this and other Brazilian airports.

The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," which is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Also available from the same address is the Department of State publication, "Tips for travelers to Central and South America."

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties in Brazil for possession, use and trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and fines.

Aviation Oversight: In November 1992, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration assessed Brazil's civil aviation authority as in compliance with international aviation safety oversight standards for Brazil's carriers operating to and from the U.S. The same level of safety oversight would typically be applied to operations to other destinations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation at 1-800- 322-7873.

Embassy Location/Registration: U.S. citizens may register with the consular section of the U.S. Embassy or consulates and may also obtain updated information on travel and security within Brazil.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Brasilia at Avenida das Nacoes, Lote 3, tel. (55-61) 321-7272.

There are consulates in Rio de Janeiro at Avenida Presidente Wilson 147, tel. (55-21) 292-7117; in Sao Paulo at Rua Padre Joao Manoel 933, tel. (55-11) 881-6511; in Porto Alegre at Rua Coronel Genuino 421 (9th flr.), tel. (55-51) 226-4288; and at Recife at Rua Goncalves Maia 163, tel. (55-81) 221-1412.

There are also consular agencies in Belem at Travessa Padre Eutiquio 1309, tel. (55-91) 223-0800; in Manaus at Rua Recife 1010, Adrianopolis, tel. (55- 92) 234-4546; in Salvador da Bahia at Avenida Antonio Carlos Magalhaes, S/N Edificio Cidadella Center, Suite 410, Candeal, tel. (55-71) 358-9166; and in Fortaleza at the Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos (IBEU), Rua Nogueira Acioly 891, Aldeota, tel. (55-85) 252-1539.

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