NEWS | Brazil reports more violent deaths than war-torn Syria
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NEWS | Brazil reports more violent deaths than war-torn Syria

Bruno Bocchini reports from Agência Brasil

NEWS | Brazil reports more violent deaths than war-torn Syria

Image Attribute: Brazil police Image Source: André Gustavo Stumpf, Flickr, Creative Commons

Brazil reported more violent deaths from 2011 to 2015 than war-torn Syria did in the same period. These are some of the findings from Brazil's Annual Report on Public Security, a study by the Brazilian Public Security Forum, announced today (Oct. 27).  

There were 278,839 cases of murder, robbery followed by death, bodily injury followed by death, and deaths from police intervention in Brazil, compared to 256,124 violent deaths in Syria between March 2011 and December 2015, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  

“While the world is discussing how to stop the tragedy in Aleppo, Damascus, and several other cities, in Brazil we are acting as if nothing happened. Or maybe deep inside we think it's a minor problem. We are showing that we are stubbornly failing to deal with it as a priority for the country,” said the CEO of the Brazilian Forum on Public Security, Renato Sérgio de Lima.  

A total 58,383 Brazilians were killed violently and intentionally in 2015 alone—that means one person murdered in the country every 9 minutes, or about 160 deaths per day. In every 100,000 Brazilians, there were 28.6 victims. But comparing that to 2014 (59,086), the number of violent deaths has dropped 1.2%. “A 1.2% decrease is still a decrease, but from an extremely high level. It's just an oscillation you can expect from such a large number as this,” Lima said.  

Of the 58,383 violent deaths in Brazil in 2015, 52,570 were caused by homicides (down 1.7% compared to 2014); 2,307 by robberies (up 7.8%); 761 by bodily injury followed by death (down 20.2%) and 3,345 by police intervention (up 6.3%).  

Police killings  

According to the report, at least nine people were killed by police in Brazil each day in 2015, a rate of 1.6 killings in every 100,000 population group. The figure is 6.3% higher than in the previous year.  

That rate (1.6) exceeds that of countries like Honduras (1.2) and South Africa (1.1). “This reveals a standard of operation that badly needs to be rethought. Because of this standard, the number of people killed by police intervention [in Brazil] is the highest in the world.”  

The total number of police officers killed while on duty or off their working hours is also high in Brazil. In 2015, 393 police officers were killed, 16 less than the previous year. The number of officers killed while off duty was nearly triple that of those killed on duty: 290 on-duty deaths (30.4% more than in 2014) as against 103 off-duty (up 12.1% compared 2014), usually in situations of reacting to robbery.  

The Annual Report of Public Security, which is in its 10th edition, will be released on November 3rd by the Brazilian Forum on Public Security.   

Translated by Mayra Borges  Edited by Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster
(c) 2016 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC / Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil