HomeNewsBriefIn Lead Up to World Cup, Govt Reports Fall in Murders in ‘Pacified’ Rio Favelas
BRIEF

In Lead Up to World Cup, Govt Reports Fall in Murders in ‘Pacified’ Rio Favelas

BRAZIL / 20 MAY 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

Statistics from Rio de Janeiro's Police Pacification Units (UPP) show a fall in the murder rates in the shantytowns where they have a presence, but some other crimes have increased.

According to statistics released by Brazil's Institute of Public Security (ISP) and the Pacification Police of Rio de Janeiro Coordination on 30 of the city's so-called "favelas" where the UPP operate, the number of homicides between 2012 and 2013 dropped 26.5 percent from 36 to 49, reported Folha de São Paulo. Aggravated assault also decreased 14 percent.

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

Nevertheless, street theft went up by 7 percent to 213 cases registered in 2013, while car theft rose by 5.8 percent. The number of drug seizures also increased by 23.2 percent.

InSight Crime Analysis

It's hard to know why some crimes go up while others go down, but for Rio, this could be a good sign. In the best scenario, it means that petty crime is replacing larger criminal operations. In the worst scenario, it is a temporary lull.

The UPPs have been a controversial topic since their inception in 2008. Though welcomed by some, their widespread use of excessive violence has provoked mass protests among citizens and international reprobation. The ISP has also reported that the number of police-related deaths rose 69 percent between 2013 and 2014, while 80 percent of Brazilians would fear torture under arrest, according to Amnesty International.

There have also been steady reports of street crime being on the rise. According to official figures, in 2013 muggings in Rio de Janeiro went up 19 percent compared to the previous year, including a 49 percent rise in tourist areas.

But the pacification project has also been credited with a 65 percent drop in homicides and doing something that no previous program ever had: creating a permanent police presence in the favelas.

Still, there are complaints that there is little to no policing at night. What's more, as InSight Crime highlighted in a recent report, Brazil has failed to address the social problems at the core of crime. Some critics go further, claiming that the recent boost in the state's security efforts is merely a public relations stunt ahead of the World Cup.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 27 MAR 2012

The assassination of four land activists in two Brazilian states points to the impunity and networks of corruption that allow…

BRAZIL / 11 MAR 2013

A new study shows that northeastern Brazil is the region most affected by gun deaths in the country, having experienced…

BRAZIL / 6 FEB 2012

The city of Salvador in northeastern Brazil has suffered a crime wave since state police went on strike over pay…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…