By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – More than 62,000 were murdered in Brazil in 2016 equivalent to a rate of 30.3 persons per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Atlas of Violence 2018, released by IPEA (Institute of Applied Economic Research and the Brazilian Forum on Public Security (FBSP) on Tuesday.

Protest against the high number of violent deaths in Rio’s Copacabana Beach, photo by Vladimir Platonow/Agencia Brasil.

The number of violent deaths in Brazil corresponds to thirty times that of Europe for the same period.

“Brazil is among the nations with the highest homicide rates in the world. We only lose to Honduras and El Salvador, which are countries with higher homicide rates,” Samira Bueno, executive director of the FBSP told Globo’s G1 news website.

“The increase in homicides is significant, if you look at 2015 and 2016, we jump from 59,000 to 62,000, a growth of 5.8 percent,” says the executive director.

The data for the report was obtained from the Ministry of Health, and is even higher than police records, used to produce the Public Security Forum Yearbook for 2016, released in October of 2017.

According to the Atlas, all of the states that have the highest rates of violent deaths are located in the North and Northeastern regions of the country, led by Sergipe, Alagoas and Rio Grande do Norte.

The latter of the top three states, Rio Grande do Norte registered an increase of 256.9 percent in the rate of violent deaths in 2016 in comparison to the previous year.

The highest decrease in the rate was observed in São Paulo, where data shows a reduction of was a 56.7 percent in homicide deaths in 2016 in comparison to 2015.

Other states that registered a reduction in violent death rates include Espírito Santo (-37.2 percent), Rio de Janeiro (-23.4 percent), Mato Grosso do Sul (-15.8 percent), Pernambuco (-10.2 percent), and Paraná (-8.1 percent).


  1. It would be really interesting to know how many homicides took place in favelas as opposed to “regular” neighborhoods, which I guess I’d call neighborhoods with a planned street system and public utilities.


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