By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Approximately one in every three Brazilians, or 35 percent of the population, has had friends or family members killed in a violent manner, a new study by Datafolha Institute revealed on Monday (May 8th). The report is being used as a launching pad for a continental-wide campaign to reduce violent deaths.
The study commissioned by the Brazilian Forum of Public Security (FBSP) and Instinto de Vida (Life Instinct), most of those interviewed, who said that a family member or friend were killed in a violent manner, were black (38 percent).
According to the study it is estimated that about fifty million Brazilians over the age of sixteen has experienced the loss of a loved one to homicide or robbery followed by death. About 16 million people have been affected by the violent death of a family member or friend killed by a security agent, a police officer or municipal guard.
“Brazil is one of the countries which kills the most number of young people in the world,” said Raquel Willadino, coordinator at Observatorio de Favelas, during a press conference to launch a new continental program to try to reduce violent crimes in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico.
According to Willadino most respondents interviewed in Brazil believe that the homicide rate in the country is very high and that all levels of government need to come together to reduce violence.
The initiative in Brazil will be headed by five non-governmental entities, including Amnesty International, Instituto Igarape, Observatorio de Favelas, Instituto Sou da Paz and Nossas.
“Our proposal is to reduce lethal violence by half in the next ten years by inviting society and governments, at the regional, national, state and municipal levels, to commit themselves to making changes that lead to the reduction of these deaths,” said organizers on Monday.
The FBSP also is said to be debating the effects of those ‘left behind’ after a tragic death. “In general, we speak of the 60,000 homicide victims a year,” executive director of FBSP, Samira Bueno, told local news media.
Adding, “The impact that this has on the Brazilian state, how this affects the relationship of society with institutions and disbelief in public power, the gigantic economic loss, etc. But we often forget who is staying and what prospects are left for these people.”