In the last 4 years, Brazil has had more murders than Syria

According to the Brazilian Public Security Forum,
nearly 280,000 people were killed in the South American giant
from 2011 to 2015.
© BRAZIL PHOTO
PRESS/AFP/File Fernando Neves

Sao Paulo (AFP) – More people have been murdered over the past
four years in Brazil than have been killed in more than five
years of war in Syria, a Brazilian group said Friday.

Brazil has been struggling in recent years with a rise in violent
crime, made worst by a sharp economic downturn and budget cuts to
police forces across the country.

According to the Brazilian Public Security Forum, nearly 280,000
people were killed in the South American giant from 2011 to
2015. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted 256,124 killed
over the same period in that country’s civil war.

To reach their figure, the Forum included purposeful killings and
violent thefts that resulted in death. In 2015 alone, more than
58,000 people were killed.

Last year’s murder rate reached 28.6 per 100,000 people, much
higher than the 10 per 100,000 rate that the United Nations
considers the threshold for chronic violence.

Three impoverished states in northeastern Brazil — Sergipe,
Alagoas and Rio Grande de Norte — reported the highest murder
rates. Sergipe alone had a stunning murder rate of 57 per 100,000
people.

The overall murder rate however was down slightly from 2014.

In
this July 7, 2016 photo, police exchange gunfire with drug
traffickers in the “pacified” Alemao slum complex in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. Half a dozen officers had entrenched themselves
behind a cable car station while they shot it out with suspected
drug traffickers in the sprawling cluster of slums in north
Rio.

Felipe
Dana/AP

The forum’s report, now in its ninth edition, also highlighted
the endemic problem of police brutality. 

The report said that an average of nine people are killed per day
by police.

In 2015, law enforcement killed 3,345 people — but 393
police officers were also killed, about a third of them while on
duty.

Highlighting the difficulty to maintain law and order are
attempts in Rio de Janeiro, population 6.5 million, to crack down
on crime for the 2014 World Cup and this year’s summer Olympics.

Police created controversial “pacification” zones in the city’s
notorious favelas, or slums, with heavy law enforcement presence.

While crime diminished in some areas, money ran dry on the second
phase, in which the government was supposed to fund schools and
clinics in an effort to turn short-term security gains into
long-term ones.

The program’s main architect, Rio state security chief Jose
Mariano Beltrame, resigned in mid-October following gun battles
between police and drug traffickers killed at least three people
and wounded five.

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