Brazil’s Spending on Public Safety Soared. So Did Violence.


On Sunday, seven men were found dead near a popular beach in the heavily guarded Urca district, which includes several military installations. Relatives of the men told local reporters they suspected that police officials had executed them. Police officials said the bodies did not show signs of having been executed, according to the newspaper O Globo.

Violence trend lines have worsened on Mr. Temer’s watch, particularly in poor northeast states and Brazil’s main tourist destination, Rio de Janeiro, where the military has been overseeing security operations since February.

With 62,517 violent deaths in 2016, Brazil reached a record-high homicide rate of more than 30 per 100,000 residents, according to the latest annual study that compiles law enforcement and heath statistics. (In the United States that rate dropped to five homicides per 100,000 people from eight from 1996 to 2015.)

That study, which was released earlier this month, shows that black Brazilians make up a disproportionate and growing share of homicide victims.

While black or mixed-race Brazilians account for just over half of the country’s roughly 205 million people, they represented about 71 percent of homicide victims in 2016. Violence was the leading cause of death for Brazilian men in their early 20s, the annual study found.

The cost-of-violence study, for the first time, put an official price tag on a life cut short in its early stages.

For each homicide victim between the ages of 13 and 25, Brazil lost roughly $266,000 in productivity, the government concluded. The cumulative cost of lost productivity from 1996 to 2015 — during which the number of homicides rose to 54,000 from 35,000 — was roughly $218 billion. That amounts to about four years’ worth of health care costs, the country’s largest expenditure, at last year’s level.

Source : Nytimes