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Report: Violence escalates in Brazil and crime increases with 50,000 murders despite Corona

Violence in Brazil grew again in 2020 after two consecutive years of decline. Despite the restrictions in place in the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic, homicides in the country increased by 4.7% compared to 2019 and there was one murder every 10 minutes.

According to data from the Brazilian Yearbook of Public Safety released on Thursday, more than 50,000 people died violently in the South American giant last year, and this was affected by the crisis that caused the arrival of the virus in the country, according to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo.

The data indicated that neither the strict social blockade that occurred between mid-March and May last year, when the spread of the Corona virus began in the country, nor the restrictive measures that were put in place throughout 2020 to stop the spread of the virus prevented the violent death of about 6 people every hour in Giant South america.

In 2017, Brazil broke the record for intentional violent deaths with 64,078 murders. The number fell to 57,592 murders in 2018 and left 47,773 victims in 2019, a number that rose again last year, with a rate of 23.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

The data in the yearbook, collected from official sources and analyzed by the Brazilian Public Security Forum for 15 years, indicates that the dynamics of criminal groups changed with the spread of the epidemic with lower odds of committing crimes such as theft and theft, which declined with social confinement.

In March and April, when the country's strongest restrictions were enforced, the highest peak in murders of the year was recorded at about 4,800 people each month.

According to the report, the social and economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic, increasing unemployment, and deteriorating mental health of the population could "indirectly exacerbate the curve of deadly violence."

Other factors were added to this: more than 30,000 prisoners - even some considered dangerous - were released or sent to a semi-open system to reduce overcrowding in prisons and thus avoid a greater number of casualties, 29.5% of the effective police cadre had to isolate themselves due to Corona and there was a “significant” increase in the circulation of weapons.

According to the report, 78% of violent deaths in Brazil are caused by firearms, the data sets off alarms in the country, as the number of new firearms registered in Brazil has practically doubled, rising from 94,416 in 2019 to 186,071 in 2020, an increase of 97.1% .

In total, last year there were 2077,126 specialty firearms active in Brazil, including categories of hunters, collectors, sports shooters, police personnel and other public security and military professionals. For experts, this data may correlate with an increase in homicides in the country.

"We cannot ignore the body of scientific evidence that shows that yes, the increase in guns has a direct impact on the number of homicides," said Isabel Figueiredo, a member of the Forum's Administrative Board, launching the yearbook. The pro-arms policy promoted by Jair Bolsonaro's own government.

Yearbook data shows that men (91.3%), youth (54.3%) and the black population (76.2%) are the main victims of homicides in the country, most of them between 18 and 24 years old.

However, of the total homicides recorded last year, 20.8% were women, members of the LGTBI+ community and those caught by the police.

Of the 50 violent deaths that occurred in 2020, one death approximately every 10 minutes, 3,913 were women, and of this total, 1,350 deaths were reported.

Femicides in Brazil just because they are women grew 0.7% compared to 2019 - mainly in black women between 14 and 44 years old - and most of the victims were their husbands or ex-husbands (81.5% of cases).

As for the LGTBI+ community, violent deaths rose from 97 in 2019 to 121 last year, an increase of 24.7%, a number that differs from the unofficial figures collected by NGOs in the country, which indicate that the number of victims of this community almost doubled in 2020 (224 people).

In terms of police deaths, 6,416 deaths were recorded last year at the hands of uniforms, a figure that could be higher if the judiciary did not intervene to stop operations in some areas of the country, such as Rio de Janeiro.