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In Rio de Janeiro, One Police Officer Is Killed Every Two Days

08/15/2017 - 11h20

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LUIZA FRANCO
FROM RIO

In 2017, one police officer has been killed every two days in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The figure was obtained by tallying the number of officers killed on the job (21), the officers killed off duty (56) and those who were killed even though they had been retired (20).

They were all victims of acts of violence. At this rate, the state could reach the haunting mark of 200 officers in one year - in this regard, 1994 was the worst year, when 227 officers were killed.

On the other hand, the number of people who were killed after resisting police orders went up by 45% in Rio this year. 551 people were killed by the police in the first semester of 2017, when compared to 400 people during the same period of the year before.

The causes of death vary greatly for police officers in Rio de Janeiro. Officers who are on duty are sometimes considered living targets, while those who are off duty may pull out their guns in reaction to a mugging.

Sometimes their identities are revealed, even if they're off duty or retired, and they end up getting killed shortly thereafter.

The number of assassinations skyrocketed in 2016, coinciding with the exact moment Rio plunged into an unprecedented economic recession: 118 officers were assassinated in 2015, when compared to 147 officers in 2016.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Fábio Teixeira/AFP Photo
Police officers stand next to bullet holes seen on a wall of the house outside of which 13-year-old Henrique de Oliveira was shot dead during a police operation in the Complexo do Alemao favela
Police officers stand next to bullet holes seen on a wall of the house outside of which 13-year-old Henrique de Oliveira was shot dead during a police operation in the Complexo do Alemao favela

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