In 2002, 16.3% of male deaths in Brazil were due to violent causes. In 2003, that percentage had fallen to 15.7%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points. The numbers are from the latest survey by the government statistical bureau (IBGE).
As for female deaths by violent causes, the IBGE survey found a decrease of 0.4 percentage points, from 4.5% in 2002, to 4.1% in 2003.
However, for the decade 1993/2003 there was an overall increase of 13.7% in violent deaths in Brazil for men, while the percentage for women remained practically stable.
The IBGE survey found that the highest level of violent deaths was in the country’s Central-West region where over 19% of male deaths, and 6% of female deaths, are from violent causes.
The Southeast and North regions are in second and third places in violent deaths.
“The indicators of violence amid Brazilian youth are unacceptable, dramatic, and need to be changed,” the representative of the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) in Brazil, Jorge Wertheim, remarked recently during an interview on the “Amazônia Magazine” program.
He also spoke about the 40 years in which UNESCO has been active in Brazil through 79 technical cooperation projects, 47 of them in the area of education.
Data provided by the UN representative show that 50 thousand young Brazilians between the ages of 15 and 24 suffered violent deaths last year.
Wertheim expressed his concern over the fact that “these very high indexes of violent deaths amongst young people are characteristic of the peripheral areas of large cities, especially among young blacks and mulattos, who are the most excluded.”
Besides tackling the issue of discrimination against young blacks and mulattos, the UNESCO representative notes that inclusion must begin with education.
“Only 30% of Brazilian youth are enrolled in secondary schools, when the average should be 75%,” he observed. And he added that what is even more disturbing is the “pattern of little likelihood for the number of years of schooling to increase in this segment of the excluded population.”