By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A new report released yesterday shows that since 1980, murder rates in Brazil have more than doubled. Over one million violent deaths were recorded in the country in the last thirty years – the equivalent of wiping out the entire populations of Fiji, Quatar or Montengro, and more besides.
The report, produced by the Sangari Institute and entitled the Map of Violence 2012 (Mapa da Violência), shows that the number of murders in Brazil increased from 13,900 in 1980 to 49,900 in 2010, representing a rise of 259 percent.
Taking into consideration the rise in population levels in the last 30 years, this represents an actual increase from 11.7 per 100,000 people in 1980, to 26.2 per 100,000 in 2010.
With a murder rate averaging almost four Brazilians per hour over the last thirty years, the report comments,
“It is difficult to understand how, in a country without religious, ethnic or racial conflicts, without disputes over territory or borders, and without civil war or violent political confrontations, [Brazil] has managed to exterminate more of its own citizens than the number of people who have died in recent armed conflicts around the world.”
The report states that between 2004 and 2007, 169,500 people were killed in 12 major conflicts worldwide, while in Brazil, the number of homicides during the same period topped 192,800.
However, it is not all bad news. The report also indicates that homicide rates have been steadily falling for the last five years, culminating in a total decrease of 0.5 percent between 2006 and 2010 in the country as whole.
The rate for Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area is even more promising, showing a decrease of 47 percent over the same period, from 50.3 homicides per 100,000 population in 2006, to 26.7 per 100,000 in 2010.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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Correction: December 15, 2011
The article was first published indicating a higher murder rate in Brazil because of a comma used rather than a decimal point.