An Argentinian tourist is fighting for her life after she, her husband and another couple visiting Rio de Janeiro tried to get to Christ the Redeemer statue following Google Maps directions — and ended up in a dangerous favela (slum).
According to O'Globo newspaper, 42-year-old Natalia Lorena Cappetti underwent surgery to remove a bullet that entered through her back. She remains in serious condition, the paper said.
The two couples - one from Argentina, the other one from Spain - arrived in the city last week to attend the Carnival festivities.
Overlooking Rio de Janeiro, the favela (or slum) of Vidigal - which is divided into a lower and an upper half - has become a battleground of sorts between the raffish tradition of the slums, and the gentrification and pacification process.
A spokesman for the Military Police told Télam that the incident occurred at one of the entrances to the Morro dos Prazeres favela at around 3 p.m., when a group of men approached the tourists' vehicle, shot several rounds and fled.
Witnesses told police the criminals, believed to be drug dealers, fled into the slum without stealing anything.
Morro dos Prazeres is the same favela where an Italian citizen traveling across South America on a motorcycle was fatally shot in December after following faulty GPS directions.
The favelas in this area are considered the most dangerous and are only a mile away from the Sambódromo, where more than 72,000 revelers are expected Tuesday night to attend the Carnival’s wrap-up.