HomeNewsBriefNortheast Brazil Suffers Highest Gun Deaths: Study
BRIEF

Northeast Brazil Suffers Highest Gun Deaths: Study

BRAZIL / 11 MAR 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

A new study shows that northeastern Brazil is the region most affected by gun deaths in the country, having experienced a dramatic upswing in violence over the past decade.

The study, released by non-governmental organization the Brazilian Centre for Latin American Studies (Cebela) shows that over 36,000 Brazilians were killed by guns in 2010 -- a rate of 20.4 people per 100,000. The rate is slightly below 2000 levels but nearly triple the rate of 1980. Nearly 95 percent of the 2010 gun deaths were murders.

Between 2000 and 2010, northeastern states like Alagoas, Paraiba, Bahia and the northern Amazonian state of Para suffered the greatest increases in firearm deaths (see map). Alagoas, for example, saw a 215 percent rise over that time period, and finished 2010 with a firearm death rate of 55 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in the country.

Meanwhile, the country's southeastern economic hub -- namely, the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo -- saw gun violence drop significantly over this 10-year period. The Rio de Janeiro firearm death rate fell nearly 44 percent, while São Paulo saw a 67.5 percent drop. brazil firearms

The Cebela study tracks firearm statistics in Brazil from 1980 to 2010. The numbers are based on those kept by the government's national statistics agency, known as the IBGE. According to the study, 70 percent of murders in Brazil are committed with firearms.

InSight Crime Analysis

The study confirms that Brazil's violence, previously concentrated in major urban centers like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, has now become more widely dispersed across the country. Greater numbers of people arriving to northeastern cities looking for work has been cited as one explanation for the uptick in violence in the region. There have also been concerns that criminal organizations displaced from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have contributed to rising homicide rates.

Police also say that the spread of the crack cocaine trade has deeply affected cities like Maceio, Alagoas and led to increased drug-related murders. Crack cocaine is considered such a serious problem in Brazil that the government has pledged $2 billion to helping addicts and fighting drug trafficking.

The study's findings also cast doubt on the efficacy of Brazil's gun control initiatives. Since 2004, Brazil has been running nationwide gun amnesty schemes alongside tighter restrictions on the gun trade. However, according to the study, that period has seen the firearm death rate register only a tiny drop, from 20.7 per 100,000 down to 20.4.

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.

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 / 9 APR 2013

Police in the state of Rio de Janeiro are the most corrupt in Brazil, according to a government study into…

BRAZIL / 31 AUG 2012

Brazil's federal police have begun an indefinite strike, which could weaken the country's border security and counternarcotics efforts.

EL KOKI / 13 JUL 2021

Venezuelan forces have fought running gun battles in the streets of Caracas in recent days with members of the capital’s…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.