Note from BW of Brazil: Stop Killing Us. Three words that attract attention and get right to the point. It is a phrase that’s been becoming more and more popular among Afro-Brazilian activists, as well as favela slum communities. The fact is, only those in a state of denial refuse to see what’s going on. Corpos negros (black bodies) are falling all over Brazil at extremely alarming rates. Whether it’s everyday violence or it’s state sanctioned violence on the part of police agents, the numbers are shocking.
For years, a report known as the Map of Violence has documented what Afro-Brazilians have long defined as “genocídio negro”, or ‘black genocide‘ and when you consider the numbers, as well as how disproportionate the black/brown to white ratio of death by violence is in northeastern states, there’s simply no way to dismiss the phrase as simply an exaggeration. Brazil seems to have its own death wish against persons with dark skin and on one seems to care. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: There is no coincidence that Brazil has always want to see its black population disappear by whatever means were necessary and that seems to be exactly what’s going on here. Check the report below.
75% of homicide victims in Brazil are black, according to Atlas of Violence report
By Thiago Augustto
This Wednesday (5), the Atlas da Violência (Atlas of Violence) 2019 report was published. The study carried out by Ipea and the Brazilian Forum on Public Security shows that from 2007 to 2017, the number of black homicides in Brazil increased by 33.1%. Between 2012 to 2017, the increase in the rate was 16.5. The data show the continuity in the increase of lethal deaths of the população negra (black population) in the country. Still according to the survey, in the same period, the increase in intentional lethal violence against non-blacks (white, Asian and indigenous), was 3.3%.
The study shows in-depth racial inequality in indicators of lethal violence in the country. In 2017, 75.5% of homicide victims were black individuals (pretos/blacks and pardos/browns). All these figures that were released by the Atlas are from the Mortality Information System of the Ministry of Health. It is the highest historical level of intentional violent lethality in the country, which reached a rate of 31.6 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. To put this in perspective in 2018, the United States registered 5 murders per 100,000.
Violence in the Northeast
The five states with the highest black homicide rates are located in the Northeast: Rio Grande do Norte, with a death rate of 87 per 100,000 black inhabitants, Ceará (75.6), Pernambuco (73.2), Sergipe (68.8) and Alagoas (67.9). It is also in Rio Grande do Norte that the highest rate of homicide rate against blacks was concentrated between 2007 and 2017, of 333.3%. Following are the states of Acre (276.8%), Ceará (207.6%) and Sergipe (155.9%). In Alagoas, one note draws attention: the rate of violent deaths against blacks is 18.3 times higher than that of non-blacks.
“Stop killing us”: increased police violence motivates protest in Rio de Janeiro
Manifestation on the shore of Ipanema was convened by dozens of popular movements
Due to the growing wave of deaths due to police actions in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas (slums), residents and popular movements organized a demonstration on the morning of May 26 on the shore of Ipanema, in the city’s south zone. With the motto “Parem de nos matar!” (Stop killing us!), the protest criticized the public security policy adopted by the government of Wilson Witzel (PSC) that already resulted in 434 deaths only in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from the Institute of Public Security (ISP). Such slogans as “Get out Witzel”, “Get out Bolsonaro“, “There is no desistance, if you mess with our children I take your peace” were chanted by the demonstrators.
The act began to be thought of in April after the death of community gari (street sweeper) William Mendonça dos Santos, known as Nera, during a shootout in the Vidigal favela, located in the south of Rio, between the districts of Leblon and São Conrado.
“Even saying he was a worker and dressed in street sweeper clothes, they shot him in the back. On the same day we staged a demonstration in Vidigal and were brutally reprimanded by the police. We realized that it is no use doing an act inside the favela and we decided to come to the asphalt,” explained teacher Barbara Nascimento, of the collective Favela no Feminino and Politilaje. “We came to show our corpos negros (black bodies) and even ask for the support of all society and the progressive middle class, because all life matters,” she added.
A few days before Nera’s death, musician Evaldo Rosa dos Santos and paper collector Luciano Macedo were executed by the Army after being targeted by 240 shots in Guadalupe, of the west zone. Another case that motivated the act was the death of 17-year-old student Lucas Brás, shot in Parque Royal, in the north zone.
“It’s very strong to say ‘stop killing us’. We no longer want a security policy that does not guarantee security and that violates a series of rights. We call for an end to this genocide, to this barbarism because in the Democratic State of Law this is not acceptable,” said Maré resident Shyrlei Rosendo of the Redes da Maré.
According to data from the Institute of Public Security (ISP), 4 deaths per day were caused by police intervention in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 18% over the previous year.
“It is no longer possible to live with incursions of the Military Police inside the favelas, who come in firing, putting their foot on the door and killing our population. It’s a stray bullet every time. Every day we wake up with deaths inside the favelas,” protested Fátima Monteiro, state coordinator of the Movimento Negro Unificado (Unified Black Movement or MNU).
Militants of the Levante Popular da Juventude made an intervention to denounce the silencing of the juventudes negras (black youths) of the peripheries. “We came in mourning, all in black and gagged representing the silencing of vidas negras (black lives). Tied up to show how limited we are in this society, how much the lack of options, of choice and rights bind us to often depressing life conditions,” explained Louise Lagoeiro, a student at the Federal University of Fluminense (UFF).
The event also featured artistic presentations by MC Leonardo, Filhas de Gandhi, students from the Biblioteca Parque, Slam da Poesia (Poetry Slam), Favela Tem Voz Collective, among others. Representatives from Congress were also present in the activit, as Benedita da Silva (PT-RJ) and Jandira Feghali (PC do B), State Representative Renata Souza (Psol-RJ) and city councillor Eduardo Suplicy (PT-SP) also attended the event.