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Walter Maierovitch, Brazil’s former drug czar and an organized crime expert, said that with crime down overall, one of the city’s main challenges will be making sure visitors remain vigilant and aware of basic safety precautions.
"There has been a lot of improvement in Rio but there is still a lot more to be done in terms of security, mainly more preventive actions, alerting tourists both foreign and domestic of the precautions they should take, neighborhoods to avoid," he said.
He added that Saturday’s attack "was a setback, but in terms of image and security I don’t think it is a major or long-lasting one that will scare tourists away from Rio."
Australian visitors Emma Richardson and Jason Sestic said they have been taking extraordinary precautions throughout their weeklong stay in Rio.
"We’ve stayed well away from Copacabana and the beach areas at night because of Lonely Planet," said Sestic, referring to the famous backpackers’ guidebook. The 35-year-old, who works in construction, added, "I’m a pretty paranoid person in general and I’ve heard enough stories about here to be really paranoid."
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