By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The state of Rio de Janeiro is the most dangerous for Brazilian politicians, having registered thirteen murders from 2000 to 2016 according to data released yesterday, March 19th. The report is the result of a study by researchers from UNIRIO, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (State of Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University).
In “Violência e Eleições: Brasil e Rio em perspectiva comparada” (Violence and the Elections: Brazil and Rio in a comparative perspective), the authors Felipe Borba and Ary Aguiar focused on exposing the risks of a political career in Brazil, as well as understanding the causes behind the electoral violence.
“Two factors are related to the murders in Brazilian politics. One is the presence of the organized crime; the other is the conflict between the powerful elites, which is addressed through violence,” explains Borba to media outlet O Globo.
The study shows that, from the 79 murdered candidates in Brazil, from 2000 to 2016, 63 were running for a city council, six for mayor and three for deputy mayor – making up in 91 percent of the cases. The other 9 percent correspond to four state deputies and three federal deputies.
According to Borba and Aguiar, Rio de Janeiro’s political murders are spread across ten different municipalities. In addition, the victims belonged to ten different parties, with center-right wing party PSDB leading the ranking, followed by center-right PMDB, right wing PP, and left-wing PT.
Following Rio de Janeiro, which presents the highest number of murdered politicians (13) within the analyzed period, the State of São Paulo registered nine deaths, while Pernambuco (Northeastern Brazil) registered seven. Furthermore, the homicides occurred in 22 out of 27 federal units.
As stated by Borbas, most of the homicides took place in small municipalities, usually with a small number of voters.
The preliminary data of the research was released five days after the death of Marielle Franco, Rio’s city councilor and victim of targeted assassination.
Franco stood up for social minorities like LGBT groups, black people, poor people and women.