Canadian businessman killed in robbery attempt in SP was with extreme sadness that I received the news of the killing of Dean William Tiessen, owner and president of New Energy Farms Group, from Leamington, ON.

Dean was here in Brazil for about 10 days to attend functions about agro-business. He and his friend unfortunately decided to visit Guarujá and while returning to the capital were caught up in an attempted cargo highjacking on the Anchieta Highway. The pair descended from their rental car at the orders of the gang robbing the cargo, but it is unclear why Dean was shot. Although the driver of the truck called for a paramedic ambulance which arrived shortly thereafter and his friend made every effort to keep Dean alive he had no vital signs when emergency crews arrived.

Dean leaves behind a wife, Jennifer Lehn Tiessen and four children.

On behalf of the entire expat community in Brazil, our deepest sympathies go out to the Tiessen family and all those who knew Dean.

Despite the fact that a foreign tourist is killed in Brazil every 72 hours nothing is ever done about it, nor ever will be.

In Deepest Sympathy,
William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

Stories like this don't bode well for the Olympics.

No they don't Hailey and unfortunately things just continue to get worse thanks to an antiquated Penal Code and corrupt politicians who have absolutely no interest in bringing in new tougher laws, since this would have the effect of sending many of them to prison too.

That combined with an inefficient judicial system just compounds the problem and increases the sense of impunity. Just look at the case of American missionary Dorothy Stang, mudered here in 2005. One of the group who was responsible for her killing, Vitalmiro Bastos Moura, was finally sentenced this year after 4 different trials. The other Regivaldo Galvão was convicted, but was granted a conditional release by the Brazilian Supreme Court in 2012.

I would like to ask which country has solved all the crime against foreign people. I'd like to pack my bags and move in.


Are you being serious or just trying to stir the pot? Facts speak for themselves, every 72 hours a foreigner is murdered in Brazil yet even including accidental deaths only around 30 Brazilians die abroad each year.

Brazilian police are incompetent, underfunded and poorly trained. The Penal Code is a joke and the Judicial System even worse still. Brazil solves somewhere between 5 to 10% of murders and less still result in convictions.

If the truth hurts, I'm sorry... but don't come here with offensive remarks trying to justify this tragedy by asking if any country solves all crimes against tourists. Brazil simply doesn't even try.


I suggest you pack your bags and leave for any country in the civilized western world - mainly actual democracies and (not dictatorships in disguise) such as the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands etc.

Brazil has enough problems solving crimes against its own citizens let alone foreigners.

In Brazil you are just a number - and god forbid you do not have a mother or father. Fortunately, civilized countries that enforce laws like Canada, USA etc. have no problem investigating, prosecuting and sentencing or frying (in the USA case) its own citizens for crimes against others (foreign or not). Everyone is equal. Is it always like that? No. Corruption exists everywhere. Unfortunately in Brazil corruption has refined into a science.

But the typical response I would expect in Brazil. Please show a but more respect.


wjwoodward :

Despite the fact that a foreign tourist is killed in Brazil every 72 hours nothing is ever done about it, nor ever will be.

That is a very startling statistic James. Perhaps AAA should start publishing it on their materials and travel agents around the world should start telling potential vacationers about it. Perhaps when the tourism actually was impacted by it, action would be taken.

But this is Brazil as we know it. Lazy and lack luster in everything mediocre.

My condolences.

Offensive remarks? Where? A Brazilian young man was shot by the police in London by mistake because they "thought" he was a terrorist. Not even excuses were heard from the "civilized western country".
Of course, as still being developed, Brazil has a long way to solve its problems, and the difference among different regions give the sensation of living in different worlds in the same country.
But, I can tell when someone who hates Brazil is talking...

If I truly hated Brazil I wouldn't live here. I don't like the politics, priorities or politicians destroying the lives of honest, hard working and decent people - citizens and foreigners alike - while benefiting from their reckless self serving agenda. And don't get me wrong - the politicians in the US are the same way - the difference is the people actually can so something about it without fear of reprisal or disappearing. Here it is hopeless.


Nobody condones violent crimes anywhere in the world against either citizens or tourists, but if you're going to complain at least make your remarks CURRENT.

You are bringing up very old news regarding the case of Jean Charles de Menezes killed in London in 2005. Please if you want to dredge up the past perhaps we could do the same here. The list would be endless and maybe we could cry over the pitifully handled case of American missionary Dorothy Stang that still hasn't been resolved by your government because as we all know the World Cup and 2016 Olympics are much more important than JUSTICE.

The fact remains that while a tourist is murdered in Brazil on average every 72 hours and little if anything is ever done about it, even if you count accidental deaths there are only about 30 Brazilians who are killed while abroad (worldwide) each year. Don't get me started, because I'll post a list of names of victims that will take up pages.

As far as your completely misinformed comment about being able to tell when somebody who hates Brazil is talking, I'll just write that off to the fact that you just joined and haven't even bothered to read any of the thousands of my postings or find out how many hundreds of people I've helped with information about Brazil.

Perhaps we should assume that since you just joined and your only forum postings are about this incident you are simply a TROLL and joined just to comment on this issue only. At least that's certainly the way it would appear. (Equally a fair comment in view of your comment, don't you think?)

You're just like your government, if it happens here in Brazil it doesn't matter.... but, let one Brazilian die abroad you never forget it and it's nothing but mimimimimi and bla, bla, bla forever after. Give us a break.

Vai chorar num outro lugar, por favor.

American Missionary Dorothy Stang, murdered in Anapu 2005

André Costa Ramos Bordalo, 19, a Portuguese tourist murdered in Rio in August 2006.

Canadian Boxing Champion Arturo Gatti, murdered in Brazil in 2009.

Three Finnish tourists murdered in Brazil in 2011:

Pasi Kalervo Kaartinen, 71,   Riitta Marjatta Kaartinen, 68  and Sirpa Helena Tiihonen, 60.

French tourists Cassandra Bouvier , 29, and Houria Moumni , 24 also murdered in Brazil 2011,

More recently.....

Danshin Sergey Petrovich, a 17 year old Russian tourist murdered in September 2013 in Maricá - RJ.

Bolivian child Brayan Capcha, 5 years old, murdered in São Paulo this year.

Dean William Tiessen, murdered now.... and ironically just one day later a Brazilian tourist was also killed in Guarujá.

The Baixada Santista and Baixada Fluminense appear to have declared open season on hunting tourists, especially foreign ones.

So Dirceu, shall I go on with my list??????

Originally I think he was referring to me hating Brazil... But I think he means both of us now. :D

Yes, sir. I've just joined to respond to this abomination you wrote: Despite the fact that a foreign tourist is killed in Brazil every 72 hours nothing is ever done about it, nor ever will be..
So, you are telling your readers the Brazil is a hopeless shitty country, I think I have the right to ask you another question? What  are YOU doing here?
Just to end this useless (mis)communication, I am all against this government, and I fight hard to influence people around me, I fight hard for a change. So you don't me that my country is a hopeless one. YOU might be!

Dirceu Barros :

Yes, sir. I've just joined to respond to this abomination you wrote: Despite the fact that a foreign tourist is killed in Brazil every 72 hours nothing is ever done about it, nor ever will be..
So, you are telling your readers the Brazil is a hopeless shitty country, I think I have the right to ask you another question? What  are YOU doing here?
Just to end this useless (mis)communication, I am all against this government, and I fight hard to influence people around me, I fight hard for a change. So you don't me that my country is a hopeless one. YOU might be!

I'm not telling anyone any such thing. I'm just stating the fact that the Penal Code in this country is older than I am and completely useless, offers no protection to Brazilians and foreigners alike. The Estatuto de Crianças e Adolescentes (ECA) gives young offenders complete impunity and if those things aren't bad enough the judicial system puts the criminals back out on the street as fast as the police can arrest them. Essentially this country leaves EVERYBODY to their own luck. Further, that in the 12 years that I have resided in this country the ONLY thing that has been changed with regard to TOURISTS is the creation of the Delegacia de Atendimento ao Tourista (DEAT) which does almost nothing and as we say in Brazil "é só pra inglês ver".

So, what I'm saying is if you come to Brazil:


You can't count on the Brazilian government, police or judicial system to do anything to help you or protect you. If you find ANYTHING whatsoever untrue about that statement then I'd suggest you back it up with FACTS.

I really get a laugh out of Brazilians who think that we're all justs TOURISTS here, no matter how long we've lived in this country, or if we have Brazilian wives and children as I do. Also that the have the misguided idea that as "tourists" we have no right to form any opinions about this country and express those opinions unless they are glowing elogies. Pure rubbish! We all have the basic right to form opinions and express them, citizen, immigrant and tourist alike; and that's right in YOUR Constitution if you care to read it. If you don't like that little fact that's not my problem, it's YOURS.

The days of "Brasil ame-o ou deixe-o" are long gone my friend. If there ever was a country and government that needed constructive criticism and lessons from other countries how democracies should operate it is BRAZIL.

Yes, sir. We must learn  how democracies should operate with a special emphasis on how to spy friend countries around the world.

Hate to burst your little bubble Dirceu, but I'm not an American. Canada doesn't spy on Brazil or Brazilians. They don't waste their time on such useless things.

Now, if you have anything to say regarding the original topic of this thread which is the killing of Dean William Tiessen, feel free to do so. If however you just want to continue ranting on :offtopic: then please start a new thread, if you don't mind.

Of course. I feel deeply sorry and frustrated for what happened to Mr.Tiessen, particularly for his wife and children. By the way, that's how I got to know this site: searching for information about his family. Saudações.

Well, on behalf of the entire Expat-blog Team


I don't post here very often, but I just wanted to add my two penneth worth.

It seems to me that Dirceu, was just making a point. In the two sentences & 24 words he wrote, I fail to see anything offensive.

It does seem these boards have turned quite negative lately (I don't post often, but I do read from time to time).

Your reaction to his opinion has been to call him offensive (& a Troll). Is this really what these boards are about?

We ALL have different opinions, and we shouldn't be bullied or scared into not communicating them.

You know, when we all communicate online, often things said can be misconstrued. There's no standard of using 'smiley faces' etc so you never know when something is said sarcastically, tongue-in-cheek, or dead-pan serious. We're all different people, and we interpret things in different ways.

BUT, whilst I respect what you have contributed William... and your information has helped me (and probably many many others), I just feel that the whole conversation above could have been managed in a much better way. 

After all, don't we want to attract different opinion and debate to make these boards more active, and ergo more useful to expats ?

By the way, NO Country has solved crime against it's OWN people (otherwise there would be no need for police), so I know for a fact that no country has solved the problem of crime against foreign folk.

I think we all have a choice of where we live, and when we live there. If it's not to someone's liking, then it's really quite simple... you (we) all have the option to 'go back from whence you (we) came!'

Let's cut the arguing, and focus on a bit of friendly, informative, & hopefully pertinent debate. It makes for much better reading.

Oh, & welcome to the Dirceu !

Hello Paul,

Point well taken!

Which gives me the opportunity to apologize publicly to Dirceu and to you. The only thing that I can say is that I hope you both can understand my profound sense of loss, my frustration and sense of indignation at the sensless (and preventable) death of such a well known and highly respected countryman while here in Brazil.

I think that anyone reading my posts and the many people who I have helped freely with information, advice and even assistance can see without trying to hard how I love this country. I wouldn't have stayed here for twelve years otherwise.

That said, my love for Brazil alone cannot and does not reduce my anger, frustration and indignation at the complete lack of action on such a serious issue that I have witnessed on the part of the Brazilian government for all of those years.

The whole time that I've been here the government and its band of politicians that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy have been making hollow promises to re-write the Penal Code, bring in tougher laws, improve public security, yet nothing is ever done.

They're too busy ducking for cover following the most recent scandal or thinking only about mega-events that they're really not capable of handling in the first place to give a rat's backside about the Brazilian people and their pressing needs, let alone do anything to protect the foreigners residing in or visiting this country.

We must ALL ask ourselves, "How in the name of all that's holy can a country even think to hold international events on the scale of a World Cup or Olympic Games and provide for the security, protection, comfort, transportation and lodging of all of the people that they will attract from all over the world; if they can't even manage to do that for their own people consistently on a day-to-day basis????"

A great part of the GDP this country enjoys is based on tourism and the hospitality and transportation industries. The foot dragging in Brasilia while absolutely everything else goes on HOLD for the Copa and Jogos is going to end up tanking both events. It is senseless and preventable crimes like this that people all over the world see and that registers in their minds. Clearly this issue must be addressed or people are going to have serious second thoughts about coming here at all, or even sending their athletes here. This country, its government and even the greater part of its population just can't seem to wrap their heads around one very simple idea.....

"Suppose they gave a party and NOBODY came???"

The killing of Dean Tiessen was lightyears away from being an unfortunate and unpredictable isolated incident. Quite to the contrary; it is a far too common, predictable and preventable tragedy waiting like a ticking time bomb for everyone, citizen and tourist alike. That time bomb is poised to blow up at any moment and this government wouldn't walk across the street to pull the wires out of the detonator because that's just too damned much like WORK.

At some point we all have our limit, a breaking point.... I love this country, I always have and always will but that doesn't stop me from being madder than hell at it or ashamed of it at the same time.

I'm truly sorry Dirceu, you just were the helpless soul who was left clinging to the light post when the enxurrada hit!

William James Woodward, Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

Thank you, Paul. I think you were able to clarify my position better than I was.
Brazil is a heterogeneous country, and I had the opportunity to spend 4 months in Recife, in the northeast, a long time ago. It was a terrible experience because I felt like a foreigner in my own country. The city was dirty, stinky, people were unpolite and the weather helped to make me feel like I was in an African country. Even when I lived in America I didn't feel so homesick. I missed São Paulo so much that I had to quit my plans and come back home.
These memories leads me to wonder how much can someone know about such a continental, diverse country as mine. It seems to me that living in Manaus, or Rio's suburbs can only give people small (bad} windows for Brazil's reality. Not to mention the South, which is nearly developed, low crime.
As oposition to the Brazilian government, I am used to tough discussions with the Cuba's friends in Brazil, so no big deal.
I also understand the blogger's reaction, under stress due to this revolting happening and I join all those who feel hurt by this stupid crime.

I extend my apologies too.

Living in Manaus myself, I keep hearing about the differences between the south and here. My only issues with Manaus is the lack of infrastructure and established process.

But staying on topic - I am glad that you trying to influence others to change your government. It is not often I here this - especially in Manaus. People tend to just suck it up and live with it.

Yeah! Plan some vacation to Florianópolis, and drop by São Paulo to enjoy its food and nighlife.

I currently reside in the U.S. but have lived as an ex-pat in Caracas and Salvador de Bahia.  Additionally, I was responsible (through work) for 15 countries in Latin America. Regarding resolution of crime, and crime itself, none are so different from the other.  Tragedies as this can only be prevented with direction from the top governing officials of each country.  Unfortunately, most officials care too little about their own people. I witnessed this, most recently, during the summer protests in Brasil.  The people of their respective countries are as frustrated as anyone.  However, inflammatory comments should be offered with a little more sensitivity regarding this horrendous, senseless act.

I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family. I am shocked with the horrible, terrible incident. As a Brazilian, I am ashamed, I feel like appologizing even though knowing that nothing can change events and /or ease the scruciating pain that the family (I keep thinking about the kids) is currently feeling. Violence in Brazil makes no distinction between foreigners and locals. We are becoming hostages of a paralel power. Nevertheless, foreigners are more susceptible to issues as they are not used to such levels of violence. So, as a Brazilian: I am terribly sorry. Please take care. Do not underestimate the boldness and cruelty of the bad guys here. They are the product of inequality, low education, government negligence and a horrible penal system. And since the workers party (PT) is in power, everything has gotten much worse.
[Moderated: Keep this unecessary language out of the forum]

Thank you, DMP, for your comments.  Of course I had many friends (still do) in Salvador.  And they, and even total strangers, were concerned with me.  From the students protesting in Parque Campo Grande this past summer to acquaintances I would pass at their retail shops, everyone was wonderful and offered me help.  I was even friendly to some homeless (young) guys who I used to pass nearly every day.  Often I would buy an extra pastel or carry a couple packs of peanut butter crackers to give them on occasion.  I also would donate to them some T-shirts and caps (I brought from the U.S.).  One day, one of the homeless guys came up to me. (I used to walk my 2 chihuahuas in the area). He told me and my Brazilian friend that I should be careful because there was a "bad boy" who said he was going to "get me".  But this homeless guy told the "bad boy" he knew the family I was staying with and he should leave me alone. But he still told me that I shouldn't be out after 10 pm, when he was no longer in the area (because he couldn't protect me).  So being "uneducated" doesn't make someone bad.  But the poverty is so intense that it makes people desperate. And of course there is rampant drug abuse.   Sadly, regarding crime, I was told by a local when I first arrived in Caracas, "everyone has their turn".

Oh no! I'll watch out for the "bad boy!" hope he doesn't get me! Rsrs kkkkkkk

On another more serious note, it should be noted this thread has received over 5,000 hits since December 8. It goes to show the seriousness of this topic.

Hello DMP,

Thankyou so very much for your comments. I know how much this incident hurts you also.

It is rare to find a Brazilian who has the courage to step forward and admit that something that has happened make him ashamed of his country. Usually blind national pride takes over and everything is Brasil-sil-sil!!!!

Don't worry, we know (even in our anger and pain) that not ALL Brazilians are responsible for this senseless crime. Just two are, but unfortunately the way things go in this country we will probably never know who they are or see them brought to justice.

I'm sure your words will at least be of some comfort to us all.

William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

It is hard to make a negative comment about Brazil and not have a ton of Brazilians defend back their country.

It could be me, but I think it is clear we complain about politics (policies about solving crimes, amount of corruption, etc.) more than about Brazilians themselves.

I sincerely love Brazilians, even though they are not perfect (and neither is anyone!)

BUT I don't see much of what Brazilian politicians do for Brazilians themselves, so it confuses me even more why Brazilians defend their government so bad.

As permanent resident, it is our home now too, and for some like me, we will stay here probably until we die. We just want, like every Brazilian, to have a place to live where death will happen later and peacefully rather than sooner and in a violent crime...

I believe we are all on the same boat here, Brazilians and residents, let's not fight against each other and instead be honest about what the problem is, maybe that will help fix it some day.

Hi Emilie,

Yes, you're right. Culturally all Brazilians have a blind sense of national pride and they view any criticism of the government or their country as a personal attack on them. While they themselves are often complaining about the very same things they can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that if we expats didn't love the country and the Brazilian people we wouldn't stay here as long as we do. They can't see us as anything more than glorified tourists no matter how many years we've lived in this country or naturalized or have Brazilian spouses and children. To them we're just tourists and as such have no right to complain about anything even if the complaints are clearly justified.

Don't think for one moment that when a Brazilian tourist is killed anywhere abroad, either murdered or in some kind of accidents that the Brazilian residents of those countries don't complain. They do, and so does every Brazilian back home too.

Nobody here condones violence and killing anywhere in the world, not killing of tourists or one's own citizens. One needs to look at the facts. While around 30 Brazilians are killed each year while abroad (including accidents) here a tourist is MURDERED every 72 hours. Brazilians should be equally outraged by this fact since a great part of the Brazilian economy comes from tourism, but they aren't. In developed nations if you murder someone, regardless of whether it's a citizen, immigrant or tourist you are charged, convicted and sentenced quickly and to the full extent of the law. In most developed nations 60 - 90 percent (depending on the nation) of all murders are solved. Meanwhile here in Brazil upwards of 90 percent of all murders are never solved, but Brazilians think we should just keep our mouths shut an not complain long and loud about it.

For those Brazilians who think this way I have news for you... Your Constitution guarantees me exactly the same rights as it does for you, except being able to vote or be a candidate for high public offices. It's my right to stand up and say THIS IS WRONG, I WON'T ACCEPT IT AND YOU (AS A GOVERNMENT) MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

If I stand up and speak out on the lack of Public Security, outdated and inefficient laws, a judicial system that doesn't work and fight for improvements, doesn't that help everybody - Brazilians and foreigners alike? So what's your problem?

William James Woodward - Brazil & Canada Expert, Expat-blog Team

Let's start a revolution ;)
Oops was already done in June

I think we should start a new thread, but regardless - you know we can't start a revolution as ALIENS (I think that is how they view us. Right off the movie E.T. or from Mars.) That would be deemed disrespectful to Brazilians and they would be very ANGRY with us if we participated. Only they can destroy their own public property or protest against their own government or say negative things about their regime. I use the word regime, because that is exactly what it is.

The revolution is an excuse for reckless behavior, destruction of public property and for missing work and drinking. Us ALIENS however, know how to protest properly.


emilie116 :

Let's start a revolution ;)
Oops was already done in June

Can't be done Emilie, the Brazilians protesting let in the Black Blocks and other masked vandals who destroy everything in their path, but civilized foreigners aren't welcome. Not that we'd want to involve ourselves it their futile little game.

I would like pacific manifestation

I know now its beyond that point

All I have left is to comment on this blog lol

Brazilian family found dead in the US. Marcio Ferraz do Amaral, 45, his wife Cledione, 34, and their daughter, were found dead in Florida gated community.
Now, who is going to cry for them? You asked for updated crime against Brazilians abroad, here you go! Published On: Dec 07 2013

Man, you are a "piece of work".  If it is an egregious crime where innocents were murdered, then it is equally as abominable.  But because there was no trauma, the police suspect a murder-suicide by a family member.  You just want to inflame the situation. You don't really have a conscience, do you?

"Piece of work" without a conscience. Just giving facts, no need for offense. I wasn't talking to you anyway, sir.

I'm done responding to you.  You are proving you're either as cold-hearted as the killers, uneducated, or a low-level government lackey (with apologies to any respectful government employees).  Not worth the time.  You owe the blog an apology if you are incorrect about them being murdered.

You said I'm a "Piece of work" without a conscience, and I am uneducated??? Is this some kind of mental hospital?!

[at]Dirceu Barros & [at]Mike in Brazil - what's the point of arguing and starting personal attacks here :/... Let just keep it nice and cool please. Thanks Guys :)

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