So much of what you wrote is right on the money (or on the diamond-studded grille), but you have an…

“Having traveled abroad pretty extensively, I can tell you that a lot of Americans are guilty of cringe-worthy behavior, not the least of which is the assumption that everywhere is like America”

You might want to lead the way on this one by learning the laws of the country he was in, instead of viewing the US law as the basis to judge something that happened 10000 miles away…

If you read here:

it provides a decent description of the law, which 1 of the swimmers elected to use to avoid having to show up to provide a statement. The other 2 swimmers that provided statement did not make use of the law. I can only image that he felt his statement would be self-incrimating also (and no, 5th amendment does not apply in Brazil), and chose instead to use that law.

As for pulling guns on unarmed people, I don’t think I need to provide US centric examples of guns not only being branded, but triggers pulled and lives ended. You just need to open up your local newspaper for examples on that.

Listen — Brazil has its share of problems. I left there 20+ years ago for a reason (and I do think that law is bizarre btw). But if you want to piss on a distant neighbour’s lawn, first take a peek at the weed situation in your own backyard. If any celebrity, after visiting and leaving the US, started to make media interviews with a fabricated story about how he/she was robbed while visiting SF, or NY, just to not have to admit to his/her own mistakes in the story, a lot of americans would be up in arms.

And, regardless of local problems, people don’t like outsiders tarnishing their image. To make matters worse in this case, brazillians are particularly sensitive to americans doing so (for various reasons, such as US participation in a very dark part of Brazil’s history

They prefer to take care of tarnishing their image themselves :)

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