Brazil sees new highest murder rate

Most victims are young and black

Published in 02/07/2014 - 15:24 By Helena Martins reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília


Mapa da Violência

The 2014 Violence Map was released on Wednesday (Jul 2)Arquivo/Agência Brasil

In 2012, a daily average of 154 people were murdered in Brazil—56,337 people per year, a rate 7 percent higher than 2011.

The figures can be found in a survey entitled 2014 Violence Map, released on Wednesday (Jul 2). It shows a 13.4 percent increase in murder compared to 2002. The rate is slightly higher than the country’s total population growth, 11.1 percent.

Most victims are black young males. Altogether, 30,072 youngsters aging 15-29 years old fell victims of this crime, which account for 52,4 percent of all homicides committed in the country. Also, out of amount, 91,6 percent were men.

The statistics raised for 2012, the last year surveyed by the study, further reveal that the rate starts to rise after 13 years of age. It leaps from four cases for every 100 thousand inhabitants to 75, at the age of 21.

According to the map, violence affects the black population most severely. Bearing in mind the entire 2002-2012 decade, there was an “escalating social selection.” On the one hand, the number of white people murdered dropped from 19,846 in 2000 to 14,928 in 2012. On the other, its black counterpart rose from 19,656 to 41,127.

Over the course of that decade, 556 thousand Brazilians died victims of a homicide, which “far surpasses the number of deaths in most armed conflicts reported worldwide,” the Map reads. By comparing 100 countries that reported a homicide rate between 2008 and 2012, for every 100 thousand inhabitants, the study comes to the conclusion that Brazil ranks seven, preceded by El Salvador, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guadalupe.

However, Brazil once occupied a lower position. The situation was mitigated both by domestic anti-violence policies, which have halted the exponential growth in the number of deaths, and by the fact that nations, especially in Central America, are experiencing a “violence boom.” In this respect, the report also points out that even lower-ranking Latin American countries take intermediary or high positions in the ranking when Europe or Asia are brought into consideration. In these continents, the survey says, the number of homicides are not enough to total three for every 100 thousand inhabitants.

Among the policies domestically developed, the survey mentions the Disarming Campaign and the National Plan for Public Security, at federal level; and statewide initiatives, like those launched in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which brought the homicide rate down in mid-2000. The dimensions of these cities—Brazil’s most populous urban centers—played a crucial role in the reduction of rates and brought about the improvement of the country’s position in the global ranking.

Nonetheless, the picture is worrying, according to the Violence Map, which was based on the System for Information on Mortality (“SIM”), and other data from the Ministry of Health.

Between 2002 and 2012, an increase in the homicide rate was reported in 20 out of Brazil’s 27 units of the federation. In seven of them the expansion was particularly alarming: Maranhão, Ceará, Paraíba, Pará, Amazonas, and, most dramatically, Rio Grande do Norte and Bahia. In the last two years, the youth mortality rate caused by murders more than tippled.

In 2012, the country saw a rise in the number of deaths, especially among young people. In Rio de Janeiro, 56,5 homicides were reported for every 100 thousand youngsters.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Brazil sees new highest murder rate

Edition: Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster

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