HomeNewsBriefWhy Is Crime Rising Across Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State?
BRIEF

Why Is Crime Rising Across Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State?

BRAZIL / 29 SEP 2014 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

So far in 2014, violence and crime have increased across Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil, a dynamic some authorities and media attribute to criminal groups being pushed out of the state capital — a claim worth questioning. 

As O Globo reports, data from Rio de Janeiro’s Institute of Public Safety (ISP) shows that homicides, car theft, and robbery have increased across Rio state during the first eight months of 2014, compared to the same period last year.

Homicides increased by 11 percent, with a total of 3,463 murders registered between January and August 2014, while car theft and robbery went up around 31 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

The most significant increase in violence was in the Baixada Fluminense, a region that forms part of Rio de Janeiro’s northern metropolitan area. Murders shot up almost 21 percent there compared to the first eight months of 2013, reaching a total of 1,393 homicides.

Violence also went up in the region outside of Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan area, known as Rio’s interior. The first eight months of 2014 saw 892 murders registered here, an approximate 19 percent increase from the same period in 2013. 

In the state capital, meanwhile, 841 homicides were registered between January and August, a decrease of two percent from 2013. 

InSight Crime Analysis

One narrative that has been invoked in Brazil is that crime rates are rising in the areas outside of Rio de Janeiro city, thanks to a successful “pacification” program that has pushed criminal groups out of the city and into the surrounding areas. State gubernatorial candidate Lindberg Farias made such claims in a recent interview, asserting: “There was a migration [of violence] to Baixada, to the North zone, to the West zone.” 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Criminal Migration

But as InSight Crime has previously reported, Brazil’s crime data doesn’t necessarily support this hypothesis. For one, crime has been endemic in the regions outside of Rio for much longer than the pacification program has been in place. Furthermore, in Baixada, only a small percentage of the suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges in 2013 hailed from Rio de Janeiro city, casting doubt on assertions that gangs native to Rio are infiltrating the area. 

An alternative theory is that crime is becoming more of an acute problem in regions like Baixada thanks to a lack of police presence. Authorities have tried to address this, sending a reinforcement of some 600 police to Rio’s metropolitan area earlier this month

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.

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 21 JAN 2011

With record violence registered last year in Mexico, officials are struggling to frame the drug war policy as successful, even…

BRAZIL / 28 FEB 2013

Brazil has announced a three-year plan to combat human trafficking, including tougher border controls and a revision of the penal…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 16 NOV 2017

Law enforcement officials in Ecuador rejected a recent report indicating that Mexican cartels have a presence there, in what…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …