By Xiu Ying, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The murder rates in Brazil for January and February this year were 25 percent lower compared to the same period last year, according to G1’s national homicide index. The index is based on official data from the 26 states and the Federal District.
According to this index, there were 6,856 homicides in the first two months of 2019, compared to the 9,094 murders in the same period last year. (The data does not include the state of Paraná.)
The decline is mainly led by states in the Northeast, which, together, recorded the most significant reduction in the number of deaths (34 percent). In Ceará alone, the murder rate dropped by 58 percent.
According to researcher Bruno Paes Manso, from the Center for the Study of Violence at USP, despite this downward trend, it is too early to celebrate a reduction of lethal violence in Brazil.
“The data is far from pointing to a widespread reduction throughout the year and only increases the responsibility of the new state and federal governments to maintain and improve these results,” he said.
Director of Brazilian Public Security Forum Samira Bueno believes that initiatives such as the creation of the Ministry of Public Security, the implementation of SUSP (Sistema Único de Segurança Pública, or Unified System of Public Security), and the application of federal funds can help explain the decline.
The index created by the G1 gathers data about victims of violent crimes in Brazil month to month. Victims of willful homicides, robberies, and bodily injuries followed by death are counted.