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National insecurity in Latin America

Police patrol a favela in Rio after violence broke out. Photo: MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images

Compare the original “BRICs” countries—Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Three of them are situated in regions where rivalries among neighbors can provoke armed conflict, and where governments spend big on their militaries.

Aren’t Brazilians lucky that war in 21st century South America seems so unlikely, and that the risk of terrorism is much lower within or near their borders than in the Middle East, Asia, or Europe?