SAO PAULO – Brazil registered a record 63,880 homicides in 2017, or an average of 7.2 murders per hour, the independent Brazilian Forum on Public Safety said on Thursday.
According to the Forum, which bases its findings on official statistics, the number of homicides increased nearly 3 percent compared to 2016, when 61,597 violent deaths took place.
Last year’s figures boosted Brazil’s murder rate to 30.8 for every 100,000 residents.
However, the homicide rate is significantly different in each region: in Sao Paulo, the richest and most populated state in Brazil, the rate is 10.7 per 100,000 people, while in impoverished Rio Grande do Norte, it rises to 68.
According to Samira Bueno, executive director of the Forum, the number of homicides in 2017 decreased in most of the country, yet murders increased so much in 12 states that the overall figure for Brazil also rose.
Besides Rio Grande do Norte, the most dangerous states in 2017 were Ceara, Acre and Pernambuco, which are all located in the north and northeast.
Civilians killed in police operations represent one of the homicide categories that rose the most, increasing 21.4 percent to 5,144.
“The public safety model that the country is following has caused many victims,” the president of the Forum, Renato Sergio de Lima, said during the press conference.