LETTER : Carnival brings no crime boom

Sir: David Hall's article about the Brazilian carnival ("Hit the Streets, it's carnival time", 4 February) is an interesting and appealing piece about one of the most popular traditions in Brazil. I have to disagree, however, with Mr Hall when he associates the "frenzy and hysteria" of carnival with danger and suggests people "keep a safe distance from Brazil". This goes against his own statement that "Carnival is a chance for the people to take the streets in a peaceful way" and his recommendation in favour of the carnival in the city of Caruaru.

In fact, the rates of criminality or death are the same during the days of carnival in Rio de Janeiro as at any other time of the year - and they are no greater in Rio than in any other big city in the world. The frenzy is a component of the spirit of our festival. It is related to joy and excitement, not to danger or violence.

Yours sincerely,

Rubens Antonio Barbosa


Brazilian Embassy

London, W1

6 February