24 Dec 2011

MAPPING VIOLENCE IN BRAZIL


For Brazilians, public safety is among the main concerns of society. We live trapped in our own homes with fear of getting out and being surprised with an unpleasant burglar trying to enter into our houses or, when we are walking on the streets, we are always afraid of being robbed by some tramp – to do not say, afraid of getting a bullet into the brain due to a robbery. That’s as we live today.

The “Instituto Sangari” (Sangari Institute), a reference in researching violence in Brazil, has just launched a new map of violence with a summary of the last three decades. This study concludes that there is a tendency of stagnation of violence (it does not mean it is better now than before), and also reveals that homicides are migrating to regions that were considered calm or pretty quiet few years ago.

States that for years were considered relatively quiet, away from this homicidal rage, get into a maelstrom of accelerated violence. Others which have traditionally occupied leadership positions in the national violence now see their rates falling down, in some cases, dramatically. As an example, it’s mentioned the State of São Paulo, that a decade ago was deemed as very violent and now registers a decreasing 63,2% in its rate of homicides.

Nine metropolitan areas - Belém, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre – were part of this study. To these nine, was aggregated to the metropolitan area of ​​Vitória which, despite being much more recent, had a specific interest to examine the deadly violence in the country.

I feel necessary to bring up to the spot an astonishing number of violent deaths in this last three decades: more than one million people have died due to some sort of violence in Brazil. It’s far more than the number of death tool in countries that live in conflicts for ages! The rates of assassinations increased more than 259% from 1980’s to date – and population has increased only 60%.

I list below the States of Brazil, according to the research of “Instituto Sangari”. It shows in order of States more violents; the rate is per 100.000 inhabitants.

1º - Alagoas – 66,8
2º - Espírito Santo – 50,1
3º - Pará – 45,9
4º - Pernambuco – 38,8
5º - Amapá – 38,7
6º - Paraíba – 38,6
7º - Bahia – 37,7
8º - Rondônia – 34,6
9º - Paraná – 34,4
10º - Distrito Federal – 34,2
11º - Sergipe – 33,3
12º - Mato Grosso – 31,7
13º - Amazonas – 30,6
14º - Ceará  - 29,7
15º - Goiás – 29,4
16º - Roraima – 27,3
17º - Rio de Janeiro – 26,2
18º - Mato Grosso do Sul – 25,8
19º - Rio Grande do Norte – 22,9
20º - Tocantins – 22,5
21º - Maranhão – 22,5
22º - Acre – 19,6
23º - Rio Grande do Sul – 19,3
24º - Minas Gerais – 18,1
25º - São Paulo – 13,9
26º - Piauí – 13,7
27º - Santa Catarina – 12,9

Looking at this list and knowing that there were more than one million deaths within three decades, I may consider myself a survivor. Public safety is still a great concern among Brazilians but it is also related direct to education. The more education people have, the less violence to the future of people. Unfortunately, there are some governments that do not care about education, on the contrary, they think that the most uneducated people they have under “their” rules, the most votes they have to keep up governing them. They also depend on uneducated people to manage quietly their bribes, orgies and corruption.

Welcome to Brazil!
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