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Rio de Janeiro Experiences Most Violent 1st Semester Since 2009

08/03/2017 - 11h24



In the afternoon on July the 5th, at the doorway to the Legal Medical Institute (IML) in Rio de Janeiro, the aunt of a ten-year-old girl killed by a shot to the head in a favela (slum) in the northern zone, decided to vent her feelings.

Tatiana Lopes' testimonial went viral, and now serves to illustrate a practically generalized feeling in the population at large.

"Folks can't take any more. Today it was my niece. Who's it going to be tomorrow? Folks are worn out. I dare them to tell me to my face that folks can count on public authorities in Rio de Janeiro."

Official data confirms the general feeling of insecurity in a State that today is under reinforcement by police from the National Security Force and troops from the Armed Forces.

The number of violent deaths in the first semester of this year (3,457) increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2016. It was the worst first semester since 2009 (3,893 deaths).

The region where these deaths increased the most was the Baixada Fluminense, a metropolitan area of 13 adjacent municipalities with 3.7 million inhabitants which experienced an increase of 23%.

"Here people feel freer to kill each other", says Nívea Raposa, 41. "Because they know that it's a no-man's land", declares Luciene Silva, 51. Both have lost children to violence in the region.

The data is from the ISP (Public Security Institute), the statistical branch of the Public Security Secretariat, and include murder, robbery aggravated by death, bodily injury resulting in death as well as deaths and homicides of those resisting police intervention.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Mauro Pimentel/AFP
Military troops patrol Vila do Joao shantytown in Rio de Janeiro
Military troops patrol Vila do Joao shantytown in Rio de Janeiro

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