Note from BW of Brazil: Of course, it’s not fun sharing these types of facts, but the more you crunch the numbers, the worse it gets. And still worse, while conflicts such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and involving the Palestinians are consistently featured in international news, Brazil seems to get by with very little scrutiny. Well, maybe these numbers will shine some light on how dire the situation really is. In past posts, we’ve made comparisons the number of homicides in Brazil with that of countries at war. Take a look at the graph below.
It’s showing that, between 2004 and 2007, more people were killed in Brazil (192,000) than people in other countries involved in conflicts combined! Those countries include Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Colombia, Congo, Sri Lanka, India, Somalia, Nepal, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Israel/Palestinian territories, where the totals were 170,000! Just wrap your head around that for a minute! Also we see a clear region where black Brazilians are being taken out at an alarming rate. Check the report below.
In Brazil’s northeast, young blacks are 5 times more likely to die
From 2007 to 2012, while total white youth homicides fell 5.5% that of black youth rose 21.3%
In Brazil, a black youth runs 2.5 times the risk of death as a white youth. In the northeast, the danger for them is 5 times higher. In some states of the region, such as Paraíba, it reaches 13.4 times. The figures are part of the Vulnerabilidade Juvenil à Violência e Desigualdade (Vulnerability of Youth to Violence and Inequality or IVJ 2014), research conducted by the Brazilian Public Security Forum at the request of the federal government which was released on Monday by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
The study used data from the 2012 Datasus (database of the Sistema Único de Saúde or Unified Health System) to calculate the black youth homicide rates (pretos and pardos or black and brown) and brancos (white) ages 12-29. The result is not new: racial inequality is still significant in our daily lives, especially in relation to violence.
Police stops: blacks say they suffer more violence
In all Brazilian states, with the exception of Paraná, young black men are more likely to be murdered than young whites. The worst figures are observed in Paraíba (risk of 13.4 times), Pernambuco (11.5), Alagoas (8.7), Federal District (6.5) and Espírito Santo (5.9).
The smaller numbers, in turn, were found in Tocantins (1.8), Rio Grande do Sul (1.7), São Paulo (1.5), Santa Catarina (1.4) and Paraná (0.7) (1). In the latter, white youth have more risk of being the target of homicide than young blacks.
The same survey also shows that, of the nearly 30,000 young people killed in 2012, 76.5% were black. In addition, from 2007 to 2012, while the total homicides of white youth fell 5.5%, while for black youth it rose 21.3%.
1. What is not pointed out here is that racial representation in Brazil changes depending on the region of the country. For example, in the states where ratios of Afro-Brazilians being killed are enormously higher than whites, Paraíba (risk of 13.4 times), Pernambuco (11.5), Alagoas (8.7), Afro-Brazilians are the majority, although their majority status is nowhere near the rates in which they are being killed. The states with the largest Afro-Brazilian majorities, Pará, Maranhão and Bahia, all at 76%, are not even on the list and their 3 to 1 majority status represents the highest concentrations of blacks in comparison to whites.
In states where whites are the majority being killed (Tocantins (1.8), Rio Grande do Sul (1.7), São Paulo (1.5), Santa Catarina (1.4) and Paraná (0.7), Afro-Brazilian representation is much smaller and whites are the great majority or vast majority. The southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná, for example, are considered the whitest states of Brazil, with 80% of the population of these these states identifying itself as white.