A recent study has brought some much needed good news in the field of Brazilian public security. According to the Violence Monitor, a tool developed by news portal G1, violent deaths in the first two months of 2019 have shown a significant decrease in relation to figures from last year.

The study includes figures from all Brazilian states bar Paraná—which is still tabulating its results—and shows a total of 6,856 violent deaths took place in the country in January and February. While still a significant number, this represents a 25 percent decrease in relation to the same period in 2018, when 9,094 such deaths were recorded in the states studied.

</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-15867" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1-914x1024.png" alt="Violent deaths in Brazil (% reduction)" width="914" height="1024" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1-914x1024.png 914w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1-268x300.png 268w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1-768x860.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1-610x683.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/export-OX7K1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 914px) 100vw, 914px" /></p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The decrease was witnessed on a near nationwide scale, with only two states (Amazonas and Rondônia, in the North) showing slight increases in violent deaths. Across the Northeast of Brazil, the poorest and most violent region of the country, there was an overall reduction of 34 percent, with the state of Ceará alone registering a drop of 58 percent in relation to January and February 2018.</span></p> <h2><b>The Ceará Conundrum</b></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The numbers coming from Ceará are particularly surprising, not just because it is traditionally <a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2018/08/10/drug-routes-rising-violence-brazil/">among Brazil&#8217;s most violent areas</a>, but because in January of this year the state witnessed a </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2019/01/05/pcc-prison-faction-ceara-attack/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">wave of violent attacks</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> against the state on behalf of criminal factions. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A revolt in response to changes in penitentiary rules led to hundreds of attacks on public buildings and property over the course of the month.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Curiously, the reduction in deaths may not have come in spite of the attacks, but as a direct result of them. Speaking to </span><a href="https://g1.globo.com/monitor-da-violencia/noticia/2019/04/18/monitor-da-violencia-acompanha-de-perto-a-tendencia-de-queda-dos-homicidios-no-brasil.ghtml"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">G1</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Luiz Fábio Paiva, a researcher at the Federal University of Ceará, highlighted that the confrontations against public security forces provoked a pact of &#8220;non-conflict&#8221; between warring criminal gangs, which could account for the sharp increase in violent deaths.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&#8220;[During the attacks] there were situations which showed a certain level of cooperation between these [criminal gangs], principally allowing members of factions to enter the territory of another group without suffering any violent action,&#8221; he said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is notable that the latest Violence Monitor figures do not include deaths which involve the intervention of police officers, as these numbers are tabulated and released separately. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Officials, on the other hand, have put the impressive numbers down to successful police work, particularly actions to curb the &#8220;mobility of crime&#8221; which have been implemented since 2017 and have shown successful results.</span></p> <h2><b>A positive trend</b></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Indeed, Brazil&#8217;s violent death figures are showing improvements, with this week&#8217;s figures accompanying last year&#8217;s decreasing trend in homicides. According to Monitor da Violência, 2018 saw a 13 percent reduction in violent deaths across the country, giving Brazil an improved—yet still significantly high—homicide rate of 24.7 per 100,000 people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Violence figures for the month of March, released already by some individual states, are demonstrating similar improvements. In Rio de Janeiro, murder rates showed a 32 percent improvement on last year, and according to the state&#8217;s Institute of Public Security, this was the best result for March since 1991.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The results in Rio de Janeiro and nationwide will no doubt come as a boost for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as Rio state governor Wilson Witzel, who were both elected last year on public security platforms.

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SocietyApr 18, 2019

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