Tag Archives: Porto da Barra beach

Horror Lands at Barra Beach

Two bodies found floating in the sea

(My translation of an article in A Tarde and Massa, two papers from Salvador, Brazil 18/9/14. I have written about this beach in a previous post on this blog. Stories of this kind are very common in the press here. I have been reading A Tarde regularly and have often been struck by the dramatic nature of the reports of violence. This story is extraordinary because it juxtaposes the attractive and horrific sides of Salvador. The original article can be viewed at www.jornalmassa.com.br/2014/09/147119-terror-desembarca-no-porto-da-barra.html )

Yesterday morning violence landed on Porto da Barra beach, voted the third best beach in the world by the English paper The Guardian. A navy launch towed ashore two bodies which were floating in the sea. A forensics team established that the victims had died from bullet wounds to the head and stab wounds to the neck. Continue reading


I’m quite wary about blogging on this beach visit in Salvador, Brazil. After all I have enough trouble persuading people that I am here working and researching, rather than on holiday. And although I do occasionally go, for a swim and run perhaps at the  end of another sweltering day, it tends to be a bit of a project. Get the bus, or walk, where is safe to walk? Will the beach be too empty (not  safe) or too full (not safe). Once I get there, there is the problem of what to do with my stuff while I swim. You don’t really need to take very much because cold isn’t an issue. It’s more about money really. You’ll probably want some on you, at least for a bus home, but also perhaps for a snack and a drink afterwards. The solution is to ask someone to look after your bag. I’m quite used to doing this and I’ve never had any problems with it, but it does mean scouting the beach for someone who looks friendly and trustworthy. Families are usually a good bet, but I’ve asked all sorts of people and it’s always been fine. The context here is that Salvador is fairly crime-ridden. People get mugged a lot and there are a fair amount of shootings and robberies. This leads to everyone being more or less paranoid about  security.

Today my flatmate went to  the beach and asked me to  join him. I was still doing work but said I might come later – which I did. It turned out to be a little cultural adventure. Continue reading