By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the revelry and excitement of Carnival 2019 comes to a close, a new sobering report from the online digital platform, Fogo Cruzado, was released on Wednesday (March 6th) showing that seventy shootings have occurred in the Rio de Janeiro metro area during Carnival, a fifteen percent increase over the 61 shootings registered during Carnival 2018.
Fogo Cruzado is an online app that aggregates data related to shootings throughout Rio. The app calculated the number of shootings that were reported during the period of Carnival, from Friday, March 1st, to Wednesday, March 6th.
Among the seventy shootings reported during this period, 23 people were shot, five from stray bullets, four of whom ended up dying from their injuries. In total, twelve of the 23 shooting victims died.
In comparison, last year’s Carnival registered less shootings, 61, but more people shot, thirty. Twelve of the thirty shooting victims last year died.
The neighborhoods this year that had the highest number of shootings during Carnival were Complexo do Alemão (five), and Colégio (four), in Rio’s North Zone; and Bangu (three) in the West Zone.
Rio’s South Zone also saw its share of violence during the period. Just this past Tuesday (March 5th), a gunfight erupted in Ipanema only steps away from Praça General Osório where the famous bloco, Banda de Ipanema, was about to take place.
After an attempted robbery at the corner of Teixeira de Melo and Barão da Torre, military police officers and armed assailants engaged in a gunfight causing the hundreds of revelers gathering for Banda de Ipanema to scatter through the normally charming Ipanema streets seeking refuge in bars and building lobbys.
“Unfortunately this data shows the difficult reality of living in Rio de Janeiro…the violence,” lamented a representative of Fogo Cruzado to Globo news. “And not just during Carnival, but for the last few months and years.”