Michael Walch

Crime in Brazil

Posted in Rates of Exchange: Amazon Studio by michaelwalch on 25 January, 2010
City of God poster

City of God (2002)

Brazil is notorious for having high crime rates.  While some of this is hype, and conditions have improved recently, the country has a history of political instability, and high incidents of violent crimes.

Homicide Rates

Homicide rates are the number of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants per year.

In Brazilian cities:

Maceió 104.01 – worst listed
Rio de Janeiro 37.73
São Paulo 23.66
Boa Vista 5.07 – best listed

Compared to the worst American cities:

Washington DC 45.8 – worst listed
Detroit 42.0

A few factoids:

  • Prostitution is not a crime per se, but procuring (pimping) is.
  • Brazil is a heavy importer of cocaine and trafficker of other drugs
  • Arms and marijuana are locally produced
  • Hacking is not itself a crime.  To be prosecuted, a hacker would have to be charged with fraud.  8 of every 10 of the world’s hackers are in Brazil.

Organized Crime

Organized crime in Brazil has an interesting history and geography.  The Comando Vermelho (CV) or “Red Command” has a long history in Rio de Janeiro, especially the favelas.  To attract young people, they subsidize Brazilian funk parties and professionally produce and promote their albums.  The songs often eulogize past members and vilify the government and drug enforcement.  This group is central to the story of the City of God film.

The CV is related to the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) in Sao Paulo.  They are well-known for their coordinated attacks on public buildings and prisons, and have used cell phones to coordinate both.


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