Brazil’s murder rate rose to 59,080 in 2015, or the equivalent of 161 homicides a day, according to figures released in the 2017 Atlas of Violence. “It’s as though a Boeing 737 crashed every single day,” said Samira Bueno, director of the Brazilian Public Security Forum, which compiled the report in conjunction with the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA).
The consistently high murder rate in the vast country of 200 million was worst among young and black people, the report showed.
The murder rate increased from 29.1 per 100,000 in 2014 to 29.8 in 2015, well above the 10 homicides per 100,000 that the United Nations considers a threshold for “endemic violence.”
“There is an unacceptable stability about the rate of 60,000 murders a year,” IPEA researcher Daniel Cerqueira said yesterday. “The victims are mostly young and black and with a low level of education, and maybe that is why Brazilian society and the state are not so open to the need to implement effective policies to avoid these losses.”
More than 318,000 people aged between 15 and 29 were murdered in Brazil between 2005 and 2015. In 2015, the number was 31,264, or 54.1 percent of the total. The latest report showed that 71 percent of those were black.
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“We not only have a sad legacy of discriminating by the colour of a person’s skin but also, from the point of view of deadly violence, we have an open wound which has only been getting worse in recent years,” the report said, noting that black Brazilians were 23.5 percent more likely to be killed than those in other communities.
The murder rate in the black community rose by 18.2 percent between 2005 and 2015, reaching 37.7 per 100,000. In the rest of society, it went down by 12.2 percent to 15.3 per 100,000 in the same period.
The report also showed that 71.9 percent of murders in Brazil were committed using a firearm, compared to 21 percent in Europe, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).