Brazil: How to End Brazil’s Homicide Epidemic / Robert Muggah and Daniel Mack

As Brazilians hastily prepare for the 2014 World Cup, there is one competition the country has already won by a landslide: homicides. Almost one out of every ten people violently killed each year on the planet were residents of Brazil. With over 47,000 reported homicides in 2012, it is one of the most violent countries on earth. The homicide rate has risen steadily since the 1980s, reaching 21 per 100,000 people in recent years, with some analysts claiming it is likely higher. The latest polls indicate that up to three quarters of Brazilians fear they could be victims of murder in the coming year. Strangely, the government lacks a national strategy to tackle this epidemic.

As disconcerting as they are, national statistics conceal hugely diverging variations in victimization at the state and city levels. A recent seminar on gun homicides found that residents of the northeastern state of Alagoas die in much greater numbers than in the rest of the country – some 110 per 100,000, an increase of 185% over the past few years. If Alagoas were a country, it would surpass Honduras as the most violent nation in the world. Meanwhile, states like São Paulo, while still experiencing severe violence, witnessed dramatic reductions in homicide – over 70% in the last decade.  SEE MORE…

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