RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil suffered 59,080 homicides in 2015, a slight drop from the record 59,627 murders in 2014 but evidence that violence remains rampant in the South American country, according to a study released Monday by the state Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA).
“This exorbitant number indicates that in just three weeks the total number of murders in Brazil (an average of 3,400) is more than the number of people killed in all the terrorist attacks around the world in the first five months of 2017 (3,314),” according to the Violence Atlas, a joint study of the IPEA and the Brazilian Public Safety Forum, a non-governmental organization.
According to the study, which uses Health Ministry statistics, the number of homicides in 2015 shows a significant shift on the violence indicator, since the annual average between 2012 and 2015 was 58,250, a jump from the average 49,000 murders annually in the 2005-2007.
The homicide rate for every 100,000 inhabitants of Brazil dropped from 29.8 in 2014 to 28.9 in 2015, close to the 28.6 in 2013, but higher than the 2015-2017 average, when there were 26.0 homicides for every 100,000 people.
“The typical profile of victims remained the same: males, youths, blacks and the uneducated. But it is noteworthy that over the last decade there was an even bigger increase of violence against young people and blacks, which compromises the future of the nation,” the study says.
Following the declining growth rate of youths killed starting with the 1980s when the increase reached 89.9 percent, to the 1990s when it dropped to 20.3 percent, to the first half of the 2000s when it was down to 2.5 percent, the rate of young people between ages 15-29 who were murdered was up by 17.2 percent between the years 2005-2015.
Some 318,000 young people between ages 15-29 were killed between 2005-2015, with 31,264 of them in 2015 alone.
Of the young males between 15-29 who died in 2015, 47.8 percent were were victims of violence.
While the homicide rate among blacks grew 18.2 percent between 2005-2015, that of non-blacks dropped 12.2 percent in the same period.
As for violence against women, the number of females murdered was down from 4,836 in 2014 to 4,621 in 2015, the lowest level in the past four years and which signifies 4.5 women murdered out of every 100,000.