Society

Brazil lowers murder rate, but racial disparity remains massive

Black Brazilians are three times likelier to be murdered. Violence prevention policies are only reducing homicides in white populations, say experts

Brazil lowers murder rate, but racial disparity remains massive
Anti-racist march in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Jorge Hely Veiga/Shutterstock

Almost 60,000 people were murdered in Brazil in 2018, according to the latest Violence Atlas study released this week, one of the broadest and most reputable public security surveys in the country. While a shocking absolute total, this points to a 12 percent fall in homicides between 2017 and 2018 — the sharpest drop in at least ten years. Once again, however, the study exposed the huge racial bias in Brazilian violence: 628,595 people have been murdered in the country between 2008 and 2018 — the vast majority of murder victims were black or multiracial.

In 2018, for instance, three...

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