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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – To protest the nearly 4,000 violent deaths which occurred in the state of Rio de Janeiro in the first ten months of the year, a non-governmental organization placed on the sands of Copacabana beach on Sunday six small coffins, three large coffins and banners with the names of some of the victims of these crimes.

Coffins to symbolize violent deaths which occurred this year in Rio on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Coffins to symbolize violent deaths which occurred this year in Rio on Copacabana Beach, photo by Vladimir Platonow/Agencia Brasil.

The movement, Rio da Paz (Rio of Peace), called the number of violent deaths in the state unacceptable. “It is almost Syria,” Rio da Paz coordinator Antonio Carlos Costa was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.

“In the past month alone we have witnessed four police officers die while on duty, one resident from a community executed by police, one businesswoman who had her car fired upon after entering (by mistake) a community, and two children who died in a crossfire between drug traffickers and police,” noted Costa.

According to the NGO coordinator society needs to stand up and demand solutions authorities for the current violence. Costa also said that extra police and security is not the answer. “We need to investment in communities, to combat social inequalities, to have public policies for the poor.”

The NGO says that none of the legacies to be left by the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games will benefit the poorer communities in Rio. “It is sad to see that there will be no legacy for two main necessities of Rio de Janeiro, which are to combat poverty and violence,” added Costa.

In the past, Rio da Paz has highlighted the problem of violent deaths by placing hundreds of white and black crosses along the sand.

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