More Civilians Murdered in Brazil in One Year than in Iraq After 3 Years of War

About 45,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the invasion of their country by the United States in March 2003. In 2005 alone over 55,000 Brazilians were murdered in a non-declared civil war that has been ravaging Brazil for years.

According to just-released data by Brazil’s Justice Ministry more than 150 Brazilians suffered violent death each day last year. The government, however, called reporters to tell that crime has been dropping in Brazil in recent years mainly due to disarmament campaigns.

For Marcelo Durante, the Justice Ministry’s report coordinator, the biggest reduction in criminality occurred in states where more people participated in the government program to buy back firearms.

Durante also revealed that many violent crimes are underreported in Brazil. He mentioned for example that it’s believed that 75% of robberies and 85% of rapes are never reported to the police.

Many Brazilian seem to think that reporting those crimes would be just a waste of time since the authorities wouldn’t do anything anyway.

The government study listed crimes that occurred in cities with more than a 100,000 inhabitants in 2004 and 2005. The numbers come straight from the states Security Secretariats.  

The state of Rio de Janeiro despite a 4% decrease in the number of violent deaths kept its title as murder champion followed by Pernambuco state in the Brazilian northeast. 

Camaragibe, a city in Recife’s (capital of Pernambuco) metropolitan area, was the municipality with the highest number of violent deaths. There were 180.9 murders for each 100 thousand residents during the period studied.

Duque de Caxias, in Rio de Janeiro, came in second with 120.7 deaths per 100,000. And it was a big surprise to see Curitiba, capital of the southern state of Paraná, appearing in third, with a rate of 119.9 deaths.

For comparison’s sake, New Orleans, the US most violent city had a murder rate of 53.1 deaths per 100,000 before the Katrina hurricane. In Washington DC the rate is 45 per 100,000, in Detroit, 41.8 and in Iraq 27.5 violent deaths per 100,000 people.

All over Brazil, the number of deaths by violent crime grew 1% from 2004 to 2005, raising from 54,696 homicides to 55.312. This despite the reduction of murders in 11 states including Rio Grande do Sul, which saw an expressive decline of 35%.

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