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    Brazil's militarized police conduct an operation in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 August 2018

“The numbers show we have a serious problem with lethal violence," said sociologist Renato Sergio de Lima.

For the second year in a row, the number of murders in Brazil has broken records. A total of 63,880 were killed in 2017, a three percent increase from the previous year.

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Averaging 175 homicides per day, or 7.2 each hour, the murder rate is equivalent to countries engulfed in war according to the Brazilian Forum of Public Security. The 2017 murder rate had also reached new heights, up from 29.9 to 30.8 deaths per 100,000 per people.

“The manner in which the country opts to address public security generates many victims,” said sociologist Renato Sergio de Lima, president of the public security organization. “When you elect confrontation (to deal with all cases of public security) the results are devastating."

“The numbers show we have a serious problem with lethal violence," de Lima stressed, adding that the overwhelming majority of the victims were young, Black men, as well as outdated laws and police measures. He also attributed the rise in murders to organized crime.

Santa Catarina state police sergeant Elisandro Lotin blamed the increase in murders on a general sense of impunity. “There is an impunity about homicide crimes in Brazil," he concluded.

The public security forum also detailed that rapes had also increased from the previous year by eight percent and that 689,947 people were currently being held in Brazil's overcrowded prison system. Another 39,516 were held in police custody.


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