After falling in 2019, violent deaths rise 7% in half of...

After falling in 2019, violent deaths rise 7% in half of...
After falling in 2019, violent deaths rise 7% in half of...

Caio Silveira Fernandes, 18, was happy with the new job. In April of this year, he worked as a kitchen assistant at a restaurant and dreamed of becoming a professional chef. On the 27th of the same month, he was stabbed to death in Embu das Artes, a city in the São Paulo metropolitan region. The two main suspects – the ex-boyfriend of the young woman with whom he had a relationship and his brother – have been at large since then.

“He was very happy with his first job, he had just finished high school and he was enjoying it, he was thinking of specializing in the area. He was a calm, calm and homely boy”, says Fernandes’ stepmother, Jeneci Andrade, who helped him get the job at the restaurant.

Cases like Fernandes decreased in 2019, but increased in the first half of 2020, marked by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Last year, 47,773 people were murdered, against 57,341 in 2018. A reduction of 17.7%.

In the first six months of this year, there was an increase in violent deaths: 25,712 people were killed, registering an increase of 7.1% over the same period last year.

The data were released today in the 2020 Brazilian Public Security Yearbook, prepared by the Brazilian Public Security Forum.

“It is a little surprising because, although homicides have been on an increasing trajectory since October, with the pandemic it was expected to be stopped, because mobility was reduced, people on the street at night, in bars”, says Samira Bueno, director -executive of the Brazilian Public Security Forum.

In the opinion of the Forum’s president, Renato Sergio de Lima, the data show how much Brazil missed opportunities to convert the falls of 2018 and 2019 into a tendency to permanently reduce violence and crime.

“We saw several politicians, including ex-minister Sergio Moro, boasting about their achievements, but the figures now show that little has actually been done,” he says.

The country added a series of measures, often ideological, populist and electoral, and all that was least discussed was the efficiency of public security. We have a lost opportunity here to save lives and reduce crime and violence. “
Renato Sergio de Lima, president of the Brazilian Public Security Forum

Police interventions

Deaths caused by police intervention continued to increase. There were 6,357 homicides due to police interventions in 2019, the sixth consecutive year of growth in this data. That year, Brazilian police accounted for 13.3% of all violent deaths in the country. During this period, 172 police officers were murdered, 62 of whom were on duty and 110 were off duty.

“There are flaws in the internal and external control of police activity. The control rates are low. For every police officer killed, 37 people are killed. One of the parameters to see if they are delivering correctly is this consistency”, says Amanda Pimentel, researcher of the Brazilian Public Security Forum.

In Brazil, the number of civilians killed is much higher. It is perhaps the main parameter that will show that in Brazil we have excessive use of the lethal force of the police. “
Amanda Pimentel, researcher at the Brazilian Public Security Forum

Both in the victims of the police and in the policemen themselves the majority profile is the same: black men. The difference is in the age group. In the case of police victims, 74.3% are young people up to 29 years old; in the case of police officers, 30.5% were between 40 and 49 years old.

In the consolidated numbers of violent deaths in 2019, young blacks also form the most vulnerable profile. Among the 47,773 people murdered, more than 35 thousand (74.4%) were black and 24.3 thousand were under 29 years old.

For the researcher of the Brazilian Public Security Forum Dennis Pacheco, the fact that one is born black in Brazil influences not only the possibility of being killed by the police, but also in any type of homicide.

The lawyer Gabriel Sampaio, who coordinates the Conectas Program for Confronting Institutional Violence and Strategic Litigation, says that the fight against state violence should be a priority for the public authorities.

“If we were to classify today the main tasks of the public power, we have to classify the need for an emergency plan to combat state violence, to tackle structural racism. It is unacceptable in a democracy that we have a death rate for black people which borders on 80%. It legitimizes speeches by civil society and academics that point to traces of genocide in this moment we live in. “

Ceará pulls increase in deaths in 2020

The document also points out that Ceará recorded the highest growth in violent deaths in the first half of this year. The state saw the number of victims almost double (96.6% growth compared to 2019), driven by a public security crisis. The military police strike that lasted almost 2 weeks in February “had major impacts on the state’s security indicators”.

According to Luiz Fábio Paiva, professor of sociology at UFC (Federal University of Ceará) and researcher at LEV (Laboratory of Violence Studies), there is an expansion of homicides in Ceará in general “because these homicides have been a means by which armed groups that have committed crimes have found to make settlements and dominate territories “.

7 out of 10 deaths from firearms

The yearbook published today also shows the preponderance of the use of firearms in violent deaths in the country. 72.5% of deaths were caused by firearms, 19.3% by bladed weapons and 8.2% by other types of instruments. The data raises again the discussion on access to weapons, since the flexibility and greater permission of this access is a priority agenda of the government of Jair Bolsonaro (without party).

Among CACs (Hunters, Shooters and Collectors), a class favored by laws enacted by Bolsonaro, there was an increase of 120.3% in firearm registrations. Data from August 2019 and 2020 were compared on Sigma, the Federal Police system where weapons are registered.

“This result is an important indicator for thinking about strategies to prevent lethal violence, as, if the vast majority of facts are produced by the use of firearms, perfecting policies to control access to firearms and ammunition, of control over the import and manufacture of these lethal instruments, (…) can contribute to the decrease in the amount of violent deaths “, say the researchers in the yearbook.

Crimes against property decrease

In contrast to homicides, crimes against property were reduced. Between 2018 and 2019, the total thefts per 100 thousand inhabitants decreased by 13.4%.

The trend was accentuated in the first half of 2020. The survey, which does not include data from Roraima and Bahia, showed a reduction of 24.2% in thefts when compared to the same period in 2019. There were 680,359 thefts in the first six months of last year against 515,523 records in the first half of this year.

“The pandemic affected the theft and robbery indicators, but not the cases of crimes against life. Brazil slept on the spot, as we had a reduction in homicides and we seem to have lost this window of opportunity to reduce violence. We need rationality to deal with the problem, not the liver, as we are doing “, says the professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas and specialist in public security, Rafael Alcadipani.

“But the data that most shows that we were left behind in terms of innovating in public policy is when we realize, for example, that violence is not only in the factions, it is also inside the houses, with the number of domestic violence of the growth during the pandemic of the so-called 190, and even of the proportion of rapes, which, if on one hand was stable in relation to 2018, the number of youths up to 13 years of age, as victims, has grown a lot “, adds Lima.

Drug seizures increase

In the first half of this year, there was a substantial increase in drug seizures by the Federal Highway Police. 14 tons of cocaine were seized, 56.7% more than in the same period last year. Regarding marijuana, the increase was 128.3%. In the first six months of this year the PRF seized 216 tons of the drug.

“One hypothesis is that this scenario indicates a reduction in the circulation of drugs by plane, considering that the availability of flights was severely impacted by the pandemic, and a greater transit by land, given that the seizures of the PRF showed greater growth in number of occurrences and seized volume “, wrote the researchers.

The illegal economy of organized crime, experts say, has adapted to the pandemic and restrictive measures. “The pandemic, affects lawful and illicit businesses. PCC, CV and other criminal factions in the country have undergone some kind of change, with changes in their business. I do not say that they had a loss, but it generated a change in dynamics “, adds the executive director.

“There was a reorganization of the dynamics of organized crime during the pandemic, and then you start to have a shift in the balance, making some points more profitable and, therefore, more object of dispute than others that were previously more protected and , eventually, they gave more return. This creates a fight and generates dispute, including not only local, but in the context subnational between states and between factions “, explains Lima.

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