Brazil Inside Out - São Paulo

About São Paulo

São Paulo is the third biggest city in the world, after Tokyo and Mexico City.

17 million inhabitants, 4 million automobiles and 10,000 miles of streets, make São Paulo one of the most congested cities in the world.

It has one of the worst crime rates in the world with 1500 murders last year, compared to New York's 671.

Alexandre Cuencas, Taxi Driver Being a taxi driver's got to be one of the toughest jobs in the city. Alexandre Cuencas told Alex a nightmarish story of life and death in São Paulo's mean streets.


  • ALEXANDRE CUENCAS, taxi driver:
    Alexandre: Listen, not me, but my father, who was a taxi driver for more than 25 years, he's already been attacked several times here in São Paulo. Including once when a car was stuck in mud... It was night, a car was stuck, and he helped to pull this car out. And these guys were drugged up, but one of the thieves appreciated that my father was helping them.

    And they were arguing amongst themselves: "Hey, let's kill the taxi driver", "No, leave him be. The old guy helped us". That's the way they were talking, right?

    And whilst joking about killing or not killing him, they fired off a revolver, and the bullet lodged in my father's seat. It was a 22 calibre. It's pure luck that it didn't go through the steel, the iron of the seat. Otherwise he would be crippled.

  • ALEX: Wow!


Next  The South

Map of Brazil

Map of Brazil

Click on the map to access each area


Download mesmerising pictures from some of Brazil's most famous photographers as wallpaper for your computer desktop.


Video Course

Talk Portuguese

Online video course to learn Portuguese

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.