If you are a young black citizen in Brazil, your chance to be killed is 282 per cent more if you were born white.
Depending on where you live, the chance is 10 times higher.
According to the latest data available about homicides in Brazil, 23,140 black people aged 15-29 were killed in the country in 2012. That means 82 black young people were murdered in every 100,000 black inhabitants.
The rate for young white people is equally alarming: 29 people in every 100,000 white population were killed in the country in 2012.
Both numbers are much higher than the acceptable rate of 10 cases in every 100,000 people by the World Health Organization (WHO). Above this rate, the organization considers violence to be epidemic.
Brazil crime rate is astonishingly high: 56,337 citizens were killed in the country in 2012. That means 156 people were murdered every day, a number that makes Brazil one of the most violent in the world. Young people have accounted for almost half of the victims.
The map of violence
Homicides affect young black and white people in different ways depending on where they live.
In Alagoas State, in the Northeast of Brazil, the homicide rate is of 192 cases in every 100,000 black young people. That is 10 times higher than the rate registered among the young white population. Alagoas is also the third poorest state in Brazil, and ranks 25th amongst the 27 federative units in the list of GDP per person.
In the map bellow it is possible to see what are the states with higher homicide rates. Check the interactive version for visualizing numbers and rates for each state.
The disparity in how crimes affect more dramatically black communities has led the International Annisty to create the campaign “Jovem Negro Vivo” (Young Black Alive) to fight what the organization calls “indifference” in the Brazilian society.
In the video, youths who are murdered become merely invisible.
The high rate of crimes involving black and poor communities is being analyzed by the Lower Chamber. A Commission has been installed based on the Map of Violence, a study conducted by Julio Jacobo Waiselfisz, from Flacso Brasil.
Waiselfisz said about the commission:
“The majority of homicides [in Brazil] happens among relatives, neighbors and friends for trivial reasons. With the wide circulation of weapons, any conflict becomes lethal. And, most seriously, there is the institutional tolerance to blame the victim. We are unable to institutionally address violence. Rates [of murder] are only increasing.”
The Commission has been installed in a moment that the Senate tries to change the law to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16.
Waiselfisz believes changing the law is not a solution for violence in Brazil:
“We have about 600,000 people jailed in Brazil and more killings. We never had so many prisoners and have more homicides. Changing the law isn’t effective. We have very good laws, such as the Statute of Children and Adolescents, but these laws are not applied.”