A Brazilian fan in Fortaleza.
A Brazilian fan is seen in a fan zone during the 2014 World Cup in Fortaleza, June 12, 2014. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

When Mexico and Brazil face off on June 17, they’ll do it in a city ranked by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as the seventh most dangerous in the world in a 2013 report on homicides. A new study from business consultant IHS finds that visitors to Fortaleza, in the northeastern state of Ceará, probably face a “relatively low risk of murder” when in town for the World Cup, but adds that they remain at “significant risk” of theft.

Brazilian authorities have thrown money at the problem. The country has spent about five times what South Africa did when it hosted the games, according to IHS, with some $840 million and 170,000 security personnel devoted to the issue, including $320 million for the military, which has been carrying out operations in shantytowns in major cities. And even in Fortaleza, rates declined as much as 46 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013. But the report warns that the city -- along with others in the northeast like Salvador and Recife -- are still risky places for tourists.

Fortaleza is set to host matches for Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Germany, Ghana, Greece and Uruguay in addition to the match between Brazil and Mexico, according to Businesswire. Animal Politico notes that IHS also identifies Natal and Recife -- two other cities where the Tricolor will play -- as places where visitors may be at high risk of robbery, as well as of the possibility of social and labor-related unrest. Some 16,600 Mexicans are expected to arrive in town for the June 17 match.

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