Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ahead of papal visit, Brazil has highest murder rate in the world - 1.1 Million

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When Pope Francis steps off his plane next week in Brazil, he will be setting foot into one of the world's most dangerous countries. A new survey shows that between 1980 and 2011, there have been over 1.1 million homicides in the South American country.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Catholic Online) - A paper published by the Latin American Study Center shows that there are 11.5 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. The number of homicides in the country is also trending upwards.

All this is happening despite a disarmament program in the 90s that caused a temporary reduction in the number of homicides. However, as the cliché goes, criminals still have guns and ordinary folks have nothing.

The report is especially relevant as it was announced this week that Pope Francis would be riding through Rio in an open-top jeep, taking a pass on the venerable and safe popemobile.

However, Pope Francis' move is deemed to be a smartly calculated risk. Much of his appeal is because he is something of a maverick and a man of the people. He does not like to be sequestered from his followers, so the Holy Father has chosen the open-top vehicle.

It is expected that violence should decrease, at least the organized variety. Criminal gangs typically declare truces during papal visits in Catholic countries.

Also, the report says the majority f the killings are not actually related to gang violence. Instead, it's individuals who murder one another as a way to resolve feuds and petty disputes who often perpetrate the violence.

The reason his violence is so common is because police and investigative forces are weak and cannot solve all the murders that occur. This makes homicide a possibility for anyone engaged in a serious or passionate dispute -they're unlikely to get caught.

The study also shows that most of the victims are men and most of those men are also blacks. According to the study, 77 percent of young people murdered were Afro-Brazilians.

Areas that are enjoying new influxes of wealth and economic expansion tend to have higher murder rates than others.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)