HomeNewsBriefViolent Crime Increases Outside Brazil's Major Cities
BRIEF

Violent Crime Increases Outside Brazil's Major Cities

BRAZIL / 28 JAN 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Brazilian government officials have reported an eight percent increase in violent crime in Minas Gerais for 2012, pointing to rising security challenges in areas beyond Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

The State Department of Social Defense (Seds) reported that violent crime rose 7.8 percent in 2012, as compared with 2011, in the southeastern Brazilian department. Over 71,500 violent crimes were registered in 2012, nearly 5,700 more than the previous year, along with 62 more homicides than 2011. R7 News noted that the department’s 2012 murder rate could be even higher than reported, as the Minas government does not provide murder statistics.

The departmental capital and country’s third largest city, Belo Horizonte, registered a 5.3 percent rise in violent crime and a 1.8 percent increase in homicides, reported G1 Globo, with violent crime defined as murder and attempted murder, rape and attempted rape, theft, kidnapping and extortion.

State Secretary of Social Defense Romulo de Carvalho Ferraz cited the drug trade as one significant factors linked to the rise in violent crime.

InSight Crime Analysis

Other regions of Brazil also reported high crime levels for 2012 and the beginning of 2013. São Paulo saw a dramatic 18.2 percent rise in homicides, thanks in part to the ongoing bloody feud between local gangs and the police forceFolha reported that the southern city of Araraquara, located northeast of São Paulo, registered a homicide rate of one murder every three days in early 2013, while Grande Vitoria, capital of Espirito Santo, saw a particularly violent week in December 2012, culminating with five deaths registered in three hours, according to G1 Globo. Meanwhile, in November 2012, the small northern state of Sergipe was reported by the same news source to have the sixth highest homicide rate in Brazil, according to a Ministry of Justice list that placed Alagoas, Espirito Santo, Paraiba, Para and Parnambuco, respectively, in the top five and did not include São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

Statistics pointed to drops in Rio de Janeiro murder rates in 2012, likely spurred by the deployment of special police forces (UPPs) in favelas traditionally run by drug gangs. However, militias responsible for invading the favelas prior to the UPP arrival have been criticized for pre-announcing the invasions, thus giving criminal groups time to relocate. Increasing crime in other regions of the country could be the result of criminal gangs formerly ruling Rio’s favelas moving outside the city in search of new territory.  At minimum, the data and news reports suggest the need to expand the focus of new security measures to include regions beyond the country’s two largest cities.

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

BOLIVIA / 1 JUL 2016

Authorities in Brazil and Bolivia carried out a joint operation against a group suspected of international drug trafficking in the…

HOMICIDES / 9 APR 2012

Easter was the least violent week that Ciudad Juarez has seen in four years, even as some Central American countries,…

BRAZIL / 23 NOV 2016

More than 30 lawyers in Brazil have been arrested for their alleged links to one of the country's most powerful…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…