I have read many posts on safety in Rio and it would appear most trips go off without incident. The advice appears sound and mostly common sense. I have been to Mexico 4 times, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Punta Cana (in May), Romania...seems the advise is fairly universal. Don't wear flashy clothes or jewelry (why even BRING it???), stay away from unlit areas or areas that are sparsely populated, don't carry large amounts of cash, wallets, original travel docs, etc....
None the less, my girlfriend is a little worried because a co-worker told her that there are kidnapping rings in Rio that abduct Americans and hold them for ransom...it was alledgely relayed to the co-worker by a hotel doorman in the middle of the day (I wouldn't go out there...) We are going in December and I was hoping to gather some encouraging replies to my post. I tend to believe as long common sense is used, along with a little research, trips to foreign places should not be feared. Also, I tend to believe if there were a real threat, the US State Department would have issued a travel advisory to Rio, which it has not.
Thanks in advance!