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For Every Young Brazilian Killed, Country Loses US$ 150 Thousand

06/11/2018 - 11h47

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FLÁVIA FARIA
SÃO PAULO

For every young Brazilian between the ages of 13 and 25 who gets murdered, Brazil loses approximately R$ 550 thousand (US$ 150 thousand). The high number of homicides over the past 20 years has led the country to lose a total of R$ 450 billion (US$ 120 billion).

That was the conclusion reached in a study conducted by the federal government's Secretary of Strategic Affairs. The study calculated the cost of crime in the country in the period spanning from 1996 to 2015. When it comes to homicides, the value in question refers to productivity: in other words, the amount of money Brazil fails to earn as a result of the labor that victims will no longer yield.

Divulgação
The study calculated the cost of crime in the country in the period spanning from 1996 to 2015
The study calculated the cost of crime in the country in the period spanning from 1996 to 2015

The study measured public and private sector finances in six areas: security, insurance and property damage, judicial costs, loss of productivity, incarceration and medical and therapeutic services.

In 2015, crime cost Brazil 4.38% of its GDP, which is equivalent to approximately R$ 285 billion (US$ 77 billion). From 1996 to 2015, resources connected to public security rose dramatically (162% - a figure that already takes inflation into account). The study argues, however, that the resources were not implemented efficiently, given that the country did not manage to keep the crime rate under control.

According to the study, because of the law that limits increases in federal spending to the previous year's inflation rate as well as the delicate fiscal situation that most states are in, it is unlikely that resources for public security will go up. The study also recommends re-examining Brazil's security policies and resorting to strategies that are backed by empirical evidence - in other words, investing in elaborated actions that have a strong chance of yielding positive results.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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