New map of violence in the country – and it is not only bad news
A few days ago, a São Paulo bus driver had a heart attack, lost control and hit a couple of cars and motorcycles. The owners of the vehicles, that were dancing in a nearby funk ball, lynched him. This is one among 30 million homicides perpetrated in the country in the last 30 years. In these three decades, the number of murders per 100,000 Brazilians grew 124%, according to the study Mapa da Violência 2012, elaborated by social scientist Julio Waiselfisz with data from the Health Ministry, released today.
The study has some good news for those who live in major cities but bad news in case you call home a nice, cute beach town. It reveals, for instance, that:
- the phase of huge increase of violent episodes seems to be behind us. The numbers are still very high, but homicide rates grew much quicker in the 80s and 90s.
- violence is growing in smaller cities and regions that were considered safer. This is particularly true for the states of Alagoas, Pará and Bahia, that noticed a dramatically homicide growth during the last decade. Today, violence is considered epidemic in all the country’s states (in 2000, five states, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, Santa Catarina and Maranhão were better off and were not included in the epidemic list)
- State capitals are getting (slightly) more peaceful - violence was reduced in 3.7% per year during the last decade in the cities that used to register most homicides. Since 2000, the rate of homicides fell 80% in São Paulo and 57% in Rio. On the other hand, during the same period, violence rates tripled in other capitals: Salvador, Natal and São Luis.
- The number of homicides per 100,000 people (shown in the table) grew from 11.7 in 1980 to 26.2 in 2010 – it is a statistic higher than the 13,000 deaths registered in Irak since the beginnig of the the war, in 2003.
- You can check in this table the status of the different states and their position in the violence ranking.
You can download the study’s PDF (in Portuguese).