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Montevideo, March 25th 2019 - 12:01 UTC

Another record year of murders in Brazil: 63.880 in 2017

Friday, August 10th 2018 - 06:36 UTC
Full article 17 comments

Brazil had a record number of murders last year, with homicides rising 3.7% from 2016 to 63,880 according to a study released on Thursday, just months before a presidential election in which violence has become a key issue. Read full article


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  • MarkWhelan

    What I find hard to understand is why the media, including the internet, focuses first on the number of people killed in total and then secondly on the number of people killed by the police. It is almost impossible to find the number of law enforcement officers (Police Militar, Police Civil, Guarda Civil, Officers Penitenciária and others) killed by the criminals. Maybe the media is scared of any backlash by the “Alternate Government”.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 01:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Did you even read the article? It mentions that the figures include police killed on duty and doesn't mention suspects killed by the police at all.

    Most people who read/watch the media do not work in law enforcement, so the number of police killed is not likely to be the first thing on their mind. What is this 'Alternate Government'? Another name for the deep state conspiracy?

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 03:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    What the media should report, besides the total number of casualties (which they have), is how may cops are's what I've said before, the media highlights what suits them, giving the impression the cops are always to blame, and unimportant.

    I don't know the exact numbers, but it seems clear that most deaths are caused by rivarly between criminal factions (run by their leaders from inside the prisons), drug gangs (shootouts or revenge ambushes), followed by confrontations with the police....then common/random street crime (robbery followed by homicide), and finally murders committed by deranged people for any amount of reasons. The fact is that it all boils down to one hell of a lack of respect for human life, and the way it is being addressed is getting nowhere.

    Would say that MW's 'alternate government' refers to the criminal factions, whose tentacles are far reaching and know no limits.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 05:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Does the government even collect statistics on how many police are killed while on/off duty? If so I'd be interested to see them and compare it to the number of suspects killed by police.

    “'alternate government' refers to the criminal factions”

    Really? I can see how the local media might be afraid of them, but global news agencies? Unless they have links with the non-alternative government, of course...

    I haven't time to write a long reply, at least until Sunday, but you can put one of your three here if you want to.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 11:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The fact that news updates the number of cops killed, virtually every second or third day, I presume the government has stats.

    Reason why I presume “alternate government” refers to the drug/crime gangs, is because they are the only force to be reckoned with besides official government, with the power to dictate rules in territories they dominate.....why the media might be afraid of them ? Obviously, global news agencies, no....but a few reporters / cameramen (who cover crime in the streets) caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, or seen as divulging what does not interest the gangs, have been assassinated....

    Thanks for the space - I still have two posts to go - but I've used up too much here to be able to use what remains...

    Aug 11th, 2018 - 08:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “The fact that news updates the number of cops killed, virtually every second or third day”

    If that's the case then why exactly are you and MW complaining that the media ignores them?!

    And I can quite believe it would be dangerous for local journalists to cross the gangs, but this article in Mercopress is almost certain to have come from a global news agency.

    Aug 12th, 2018 - 08:02 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    ”If that's the case then why exactly are you and MW complaining that the media ignores them?!'

    Relatively speaking, in comparison with 'other victims', they ARE (ignored); in the case of victims of stray bullets (77 in Rio alone, in 2018), in which it's sometimes impossible to determine where the bullet came from, most rush to blame the cops, and speculate where and what the cops were doing at the time; or people caught in the middle of shootouts - in the streets or in the 'favelas'; or the death of the member of a drug gang, or even the case last week of a lady being hit in the head by a bullet while waiting to be operated on in a hospital, during just one more frequent confrontation between two rival gangs on the top of hills on opposite sides of the hospital, the news makes a meal out of it, while the death of a cop is usually announced in a laconic manner, as if it were no more than their obligation to simply update the stats.
    Reporting on crime generally, never caused any danger, only when some reporter insists on investigating and exposing specific gangs and their such reporter from TV Globo, Caco Barcellos, who used to do that - and still does - has had his life threatened several times.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 06:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Mark Whelan said it's almost impossible to find the number of law enforcement officers killed by the criminals, yet according to you they update the count every few days. Strange.

    How many cops have been killed this year so far? Is it more or less than the number of people killed by stray bullets? I think some of it is what I said before, that people are more interested in things that could affect them or their friends. Getting hit by a stray bullet could happen to anyone, and you could be caught in a shootout if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The amount of attention also depends on how sympathetic the victim was, how dramatic the death, and whether it fits some narrative that is currently popular. I suspect police killings in Brazil have received a lot more attention since they became such an issue in America.

    I know Stalin said a million deaths is a statistic, but in some ways the count of victims is the most useful thing to know. It shows whether the problem is increasing or improving, and how big a deal it is in general (a pretty big deal).

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 08:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “Law enforcement” officers, as used by MW appears to be far more ample than just 'cops', meaning mainly the 'policia militar' (military police), who are the ones patrolling the streets and getting into direct confrontation with criminals (in 'favelas', while robbing cargoes, blowing up ATM's, stealing cars etc)...I haven't seen stats on other groups, although they must exist, but perhaps included under another title...dunno ; found one stat whereby roughly 190 'law enforcement' offices have been killed in Brazil in 2018, between Jan/July inclusive : 178 were from the military police (70 in Rio, 37 in SP), 11 civilian police, 1 federal....

    “...whether it fits some narrative that is currently popular”.....the general impression I get is that currently, the most popular narrative is the politically correct one....HR questioning why, for ex., in a shootout between police and criminals, why criminals were killed but no cops ?
    and when/if cops are killed, “well, what did you expect in their line of work ?” the criminals always have someone to stand up for them, the cops don't...except other cops.....the HR's and the media's sympathy for dead criminals seems far more than for the cops who lose their lives...

    “I suspect police killings in Brazil have received a lot more attention since they became such an issue in America”....
    I'd say so too....the media and HRs make sure the cops get their fair share of negative publicity.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 09:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That's a technicality. If they report deaths of cops so regularly, they clearly aren't ignoring them. And seems the number of killed (murdered?) cops is similar to the number shot by stray bullets: 70 vs 77 in Rio, but that doesn't include suspects shot by the cops while attempting arrest.

    I don't know about politically correct, but the popular narrative seems to be that the police are too trigger happy, especially when confronting black suspects. However, my experience in the UK is certainly not that criminals get more sympathy than the police. Here are a couple of notable examples, and they got plenty of reporting:

    Of course things are very different in the US, and even more so Brazil. I know we've talked about this before and you disagree, but I think it's much more serious if a police officer commits a crime, and also a big problem if their bad judgement leads to people dying needlessly, especially innocent people, but even criminals (ordinary ones at least).

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 08:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    A technicality ? perhaps, but I'm not saying that cops’ deaths are 'ignored', only that they are not given the same attention as a criminal’s. When a criminal is killed, HRs demands an investigation (which will be carried out anyway), could it have been avoided etc, if arrested or injured (they rush to the police precinct / hospital to make sure he's well treated). If a cop is killed, HRs is nowhere to be seen.
    The 'favela' residents complain when the cops go in and return 'gang' fire, yet you don't hear them complaining about the drug trafficking going on around them...that's most likely a condition to survive, but when their mobile phone is stolen at gun point or yanked out of their hands in the street, they complain the police aren't there to prevent it (in Rio, roughly 80 mobile phones are robbed per day).
    I too am inclined to believe trigger-happiness is the cause of many unintentional kills, but when in the middle of a 'war', you'd probably even shoot your own shadow.
    Here, and in my above post I was referring to the situation in Brazil, not the US. So, as to “whether it fits some narrative that is currently popular”, think this applies more to the US...when a black suspect is killed, people automatically presume the cop was out to kill him, with no intention of arresting communities have become so conditioned to reacting this way, there is little chance of anyone wanting to hear another version...even the real one, like in several cases where later on, it's been proven that the dead suspect was indeed to blame for his own death.
    From the point of view that it is expected that cops should be the first to uphold the law, can’t really disagree with you, but you are again basing yourself on the UK, where people actually respect the police, not to mention that it is very unlikely a suspect will be armed, making a precipitated move less likely. As for honoring a cop’s memory, like that of PC Keith Palmer, have never seen that here.

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 10:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    It's kind of sad if cops are never honoured for their bravery in Brazil. Are medals and such not common in general?

    Your HR people are just not something I have experienced. When I have seen on the news people protesting police killings, it has been the victim's family and community, or lately groups formed to protest then, because they think there is a problem. Are there any articles that mention the HR activists so I can get a better idea of who they are and what they do?

    As for the favela residents, if they think the police coming in makes things worse, maybe they are right. Perhaps they already know how to avoid the drug dealers and gangs and just want to go on with their lives as quietly as possible.

    “think this applies more to the US”

    I expect you're right, but IMO the international media are influenced by events and stories from the US when they cover Brazilian news. Probably doesn't apply to media within the country though.

    “you are again basing yourself on the UK”

    I don't think the principle depends on the country, just the expected results. If police in the UK killed as much as those in Brazil, then something would be very wrong, but obviously the environment is totally different there. But even if you think it's more like warzone, we do hold soldiers to certain standards, too.

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 12:16 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “Medals” ? have seen a few cases of cops getting medals, but not frequent, nor much recall some firefighters being awarded them.

    The families of people killed by the police (justified, or not) always protest - the press gives them plenty of space - and you usually see the HR activists positioned in front of the police precincts, or hospitals, waiting to be interviewed....their comments make it clear who they blame, even if they can't be sure who is - cop or criminal - perhaps because cops have to account for all shootings / have their weapons checked.
    Don't bother keeping names of HRs activists, but they became fashionable under the PT, and the highest posts were held by people who came from the ranks of the former 'freedom-fighters' (from the 60s/70s)...a bit of a paradox considering their concern for human life.

    “if they think the police coming in makes things worse, maybe they are right”....that's a reasonable assumption....but then what's the solution ? allow the criminals to raise hell outside the 'favela' and then escape to a safe haven ?....that is the implicit acceptance of a parallel authority in the to trade in drugs, weapons, and all tax-free....and using the residents as a shield.
    I'd say that the int'l press, as well as the Brazilian, is just copying how the American press covers these incidents.
    The police here are not respected by the lower classes, and definitely not by the criminals, who are a tough match for them...criminals don't need to follow any rules, and usually aren't held accountable because they aren't caught. That changes the rules of the game, at least as far as our cops are concerned...
    “If police in the UK killed as much as those in Brazil...”...PC's in the UK are not armed...neither are most criminals, so obviously the whole scenario of police v. crime is very different.
    “we hold soldiers to certain standards”....that's the difference btwn the 1st 'n 3rd world

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 08:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I googled to find some stories, first one I found was 3 guys killed by the police while trying to arrest them, who they said were planning to rob a transport company. But they hadn't identified them yet, so no chance of anything from their families.

    There were plenty of links at the bottom of the page though:

    A police sergeant murdered at a fair by two guys on a motorbike, and apparently was the victim of a similar attack last year but the hospital managed to save his life the first time.

    A bunch of thieves who foolishly tried to rob another police sergeant at a car wash. Who shot one of them, but he survived. This one did have an interview with the family, it says the guy is the brother of a football player, mysteriously called Pikachu, and his step-dad (also in the PM!) said: “If he chose this path of crime, it is his problem.” Perhaps that is not typical?

    The best story was this one, about a stray dog that saved a woman from a robber:!.html

    Maybe you could link me a story with the human rights activists in next time you see one?

    “allow the criminals to raise hell outside the 'favela' and then escape to a safe haven”

    Guess that's not really an option, either. I don't know what the solution is.

    “PC's in the UK are not armed”

    Okay, but police in Europe and the US are armed, and I think the idea that it is worse when the police commit a crime definitely applies there, so why not in Brazil?

    “that's the difference btwn the 1st 'n 3rd world”

    Makes it pretty worrying that soldiers are being asked to do the police's job in Rio, then.

    Aug 16th, 2018 - 07:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Fact is that to avoid arrest, the criminals are nearly always prepared to shoot it out with the police, and the police know it's a matter of who kills who first. When you accompany the unending crime and see it in the context we do, you tend to agree that a good criminal is a dead one.

    Good dog...should have more of them around...

    Yday, in Itajaí (port town in SC) a security camera filmed a 55 yr old woman janitor trying to stop a thief from stealing a bicycle from a Condominium, the would-be thief (26 yrs old) pushed her to the ground and kicked her in stomach and head over 20 times, until he was scared off by other Condo employees....she 's lucky to have survived, but the SOB who kicked the sh*t out her, already been arrested, will probably be out in two years...and if he had a gun the janitor would be dead. Re HR activists, will try to remember.

    ”“PC's in the UK are not armed” exception in today's world....and if it works well, I'd say because the criminals (generally ?) don't have guns....try disarming the police here - they would be massacred, as would innocent civilians. Here it is far more difficult to determine when a killing during a police persuit or while approaching criminals, becomes a matter of self-defense or the result of the intent to kill, no matter what.

    “....soldiers are being asked to do the police's job in Rio, then”... agree. But it's more worrying for the soldiers....they are not trained to do police patrolling, but to attack and kill....since they cannot resort to the latter, their effectiveness is minimal..if they killed a criminal, they'd probably be accused of using excessive's a bit like the US forces in Vietnam...defend but cannot persue /attack the enemy in their own one's ever won a war by just defending....

    Aug 17th, 2018 - 06:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Surely the thief will get more than 2 years for the attack? That's ridiculous!

    “PC's in the UK are not armed”

    Yeah, the criminals mostly don't have guns either. That's why most of the terrorists here have attacked with vehicles and/or knives. It works because the UK is an island so they can do a decent job of keeping guns out, and they weren't too common to begin with. It wouldn't do much good banning guns in Brazil if people can easily bring them over the boarder from Paraguay or where ever.

    I think in the US they are having the police wear body cams, in order to see whether they are using reasonable force. Might be a bit too expensive for Brazil, though.

    “But it's more worrying for the soldiers....they are not trained to do police patrolling, but to attack and kill”

    Good point, which makes using them seen like an even more bad idea. It sounds a lot like the US forces in Afghanistan, trying to eliminate guerrillas who hid themselves in the local population, without killing innocent people and turning the whole country against them. And at least there it's expected that the enemy are killed unless they surrender, they don't have to try and arrest them.

    PS. I've written a reply to one of the two threads that have closed, but can't find anywhere to put it.

    Aug 17th, 2018 - 10:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    ”Surely the thief will get more than 2 years for the attack?
    Not according to first reports last night. Initially, the Police said he would be accused of invasion of private property and only aggravated assault.....attempted murder was not even mentioned. But seems that due to the repercussion the case is having, today's reports say the charge will be upgraded to attempted murder. More than 2 years, but not much...when and IF, I'll let you know.

    Cop cars here have cameras on the dashboard, supposed to catch everything that happens during a chase, and/or after they leave the car to follow the criminals...but if out of sight, you never know what might happen.

    Good analogy between the army in Rio and US forces in Afghanistan...
    Here , no arrest is 'peaceful' , unless the criminal is cornered and outnumbered by the police, or if they catch him while he's asleep at 2 or 3 in the morning....very difficult, as the gangs have guards posted everywhere, from the 'favela' entrance to the top of the hill.

    OK, more space....

    Aug 18th, 2018 - 10:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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