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By Maria Lopez Conde, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The latest figures released last week show that the number of homicides in Brazil rose steadily between 2011 and 2012, with a 7.8 percent increase in the number of murders registered last year. The Statistics Yearbook, compiled by the nonprofit Brazilian Public Safety Forum, shows that 50,108 people were killed in Brazil in 2012 of which 47,136 were murdered, the highest in five years.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Impunity and low levels of convictions for murders, experts believe, drive criminality in Brazil, photo by Andréa Farias/Flickr Creative Commons License.

The numbers make Brazil the seventh most violent nation in the world, behind war-torn countries such as Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The data was drawn from police reports made available through the state security secretariats, but, according to Julio Jacobo Waisenfisz from the Latin American University of Social Sciences (FLACSO), the study’s conclusions are “uncertain” and the actual number of homicides may in fact be much higher.

“Registered homicides are probably 10-25 percent higher,” Waisenfisz claims, due to the fact that high numbers of deaths in several states like Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina remain classified as ‘unexplained’.

One of the states driving the rise in murders is São Paulo. The study shows that the country’s richest state saw a fourteen percent increase in murders between 2011 and 2012. At the end of 2012, the city experienced a bloody crime wave instigated by an organized crime cell, the PCC. São Paulo has, however, seen a slight decrease in murders and robberies followed by killings since the beginning of 2013.

It is in the poorer north and northeast states of Brazil, however, that murder rates remain highest. The small state of Alagoas still leads the list with a rate of 61.8 murders for every 100,000 people. Although this represents a 21.9 percent decrease on the year 2011, robberies followed by murder in Alagoas rose by 140 percent during the same time period. The states of Ceará and Goiás both saw homicides climb between 2011 and 2012, by 32 and 28.4 percent, respectively.

Homicide Rate Up 7.8% in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Homicide rates climbed by 7.8 percent between 2011 and 2012, photo by Andréa Farias/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Both Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco saw 5.6 and 6.5 percent drops in murders on 2012, however.

A spokesman from the Rio de Janeiro Public Safety Secretariat told The Rio Times that this decrease can be attributed to the state’s “visible public safety policy which is based on two pillars: the Pacifying Police Unit projects and the Goals System, which awards police stations and battalions that reduce indices of violence,” he said.

“The UPPs broke the logic of war that the city of Rio sent to the world and its effects can be observed in the neighborhoods of these communities, which have registered less crime and reduced weapon use.”

Julio Jacobo Waisenfisz, who is in charge of the Violence Map project, argues that while murders may have decreased in Rio, deaths where there is ‘no known cause’ rose between 2011 and 2012 from 2,456 to 3,619.

“The rise in the number of deaths to be clarified more than justifies the drop in killings in Rio de Janeiro, which may actually have registered a higher homicide rate in 2012 than in 2011,” says Waisenfisz.

According to the sociologist and researcher, Brazil’s “institutional tolerance to violence” and infamous culture of impunity, in which it is estimated that only three to four percent of those guilty of murder are convicted, encourage criminality. “The institutions that take care of society tolerate violence,” he said. “The institutions that protect us are the ones that end up becoming actors of violence in Brazil.”

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21 COMMENTS

  1. […] the Rio Times covers other numbers on the […]

  2. […] With over 47,000 reported homicides in 2012, it is one of the most violent countries on earth. The homicide rate has risen steadily since the 1980s, reaching 21 per 100,000 people in recent years, with some […]

  3. […] With over 47,000 reported homicides in 2012, it is one of the most violent countries on earth. The homicide rate has risen steadily since the 1980s, reaching 21 per 100,000 people in recent years, with some […]

  4. […] in delays and deaths at stadium construction sites, shoddy infrastructure, high murder rates and a presidential election, and it is clear that Brazil could come out of 2014 looking a lot worse […]

  5. […] in delays and deaths at stadium construction sites, shoddy infrastructure, high murder rates and a presidential election, and it is clear that Brazil could come out of 2014 looking a lot worse […]

  6. Voices of Brazil: ‘Our hour has arrived’ | FREE Article Distribution, Press Release Distribution, News Distribution - No Registration! Submit a Free Article or Press Release | BUZZSTAKE

    […] in delays and deaths at stadium construction sites, shoddy infrastructure, high murder rates and a presidential election, and it is clear that Brazil could come out of 2014 looking a lot worse […]

  7. […] in delays and deaths at stadium construction sites, shoddy infrastructure, high murder rates and a presidential election, and it is clear that Brazil could come out of 2014 looking a lot worse […]

  8. […] in delays and deaths at stadium construction sites, shoddy infrastructure, high murder rates and a presidential election, and it is clear that Brazil could come out of 2014 looking a lot worse […]

  9. […] Por ejemplo, en 2012, alrededor de un ciudadano brasileño fue asesinado cada 10 minutos. Según el Foro Brasileño sobre Seguridad Pública, más de 47.000 personas fueron asesinadas violentamente en ese año, más de dos terceras partes […]

  10. […] days earlier.  Nothing’s been proven but this is not an isolated case.   Brazil’s homicide rate is very high and killers act with impunity.  Almost 50,000 people were intentionally killed here […]

  11. […] in 2012, roughly one Brazilian citizen was assassinated every 10 minutes. According to the Brazilian Forum on Public Security, more than 47,000 people were violently killed that year and more than two-thirds executed with […]

  12. […] is the seventh most violent nation in the world, with 47,136 people murdered in 2012.  Approximately 406 people were murdered […]

  13. Eight of Brazil’s 12 World Cup host cities are in the 50 most dangerous cities in the World | Modern Brazil, as seen from the streets.

    […] is rising again, however. And it should also be noted that a lot of deaths are recorded as “Unexplained”, and […]

  14. […] Por ejemplo, en el año 2012, un ciudadano brasileño fue asesinado cada 10 minutos. Según el Foro Brasileño sobre Seguridad Pública más de 47.000 personas fueron asesinadas violentamente en ese año, más de dos terceras […]

  15. […] Hundreds of thousands of people are being kicked out of homes that they have lived in for decades to make way for the World Cup. Take the renovation of the Maracana stadium (where the final will be played), reportedly costing $500 Million. Residents in the surrounding favelas in Rio De Janerio are being evicted to make room for a 10,000 space car parking lot. They wouldn’t be politicians if they were not adept at lying and trying to deceive their own people, the city’s housing secretary has said that these demolitions and evictions have nothing to do with the World Cup, Jorge Bittar states that these homes were “precarious homes, built in an inappropriate area”. Cue, raised eyebrows. In reality it’s only “inappropriate” in the sense that it’s now prime real estate and they most certainly cannot have poor people living there! Many of these evictions are being carried out at gunpoint by the thugs in uniform: the Brazilian police. The very same police force that was sent into the favelas to “pacify” them, ironically the method they used to pacify these poor hungry and forgotten people was violence. It comes as no surprise then that the police are as equally to blame as the drug cartels for the rising murder rate, according to The Rio Times there has been an 8% rise in murders between 2012-13. […]

  16. THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT THE 2014 WORLD CUP. LA DURA VERITA’ SULLA COPPA DEL MONDO 2014 | TruthandManipulations

    […] Hundreds of thousands of people are being kicked out of homes that they have lived in for decades to make way for the World Cup. Take the renovation of the Maracana stadium (where the final will be played), reportedly costing $500 Million. Residents in the surrounding favelas in Rio De Janerio are being evicted to make room for a 10,000 space car parking lot. They wouldn’t be politicians if they were not adept at lying and trying to deceive their own people, the city’s housing secretary has said that these demolitions and evictions have nothing to do with the World Cup, Jorge Bittar states that these homes were “precarious homes, built in an inappropriate area”. Cue, raised eyebrows. In reality it’s only “inappropriate” in the sense that it’s now prime real estate and they most certainly cannot have poor people living there! Many of these evictions are being carried out at gunpoint by the thugs in uniform: the Brazilian police. The very same police force that was sent into the favelas to “pacify” them, ironically the method they used to pacify these poor hungry and forgotten people was violence. It comes as no surprise then that the police are as equally to blame as the drug cartels for the rising murder rate, according to The Rio Times there has been an 8% rise in murders between 2012-13. […]

  17. […] Familia lui Ester a trecut prin multe. Din cei 12 copii pe care i-a adus pe  lume, pe unul l-a omorât poliția. Fura ca să-i dea de mâncare fiicei. Povestea e obișnuită printre brazilieni – țara cu cea mai puternică economie din America de Sud este și a șaptea cea mai violentă din lume. […]

  18. […] is the seventh most violent nation in the world, with 47,136 people murdered in 2012.  Approximately 406 people were murdered […]

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