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Brazil sets new record for homicides (msn.com)
139 points by kimsk112 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 179 comments

Brazilian here. Our criminality numbers are _probably_ higher than the official numbers. The country is huge and diverse, but even the most pacific states and cities are in a bad shape if compared to almost any other country. More than 70% of the deaths are related to gang conflicts.

Drugs are not the only problem. We also have a lot of cargo/truck stealing, street-level robbery, an enormous black market of stolen mobile phones, etc.

We have some affluent startup hubs, there are innovation in e-commerce, payments, banking, HR and many more, but our tech elite is complete out-of-sync with our major problem: violence. Maybe a fresh HN discussion can put some light on the issue.

Whats this like for civilians that are not involved?

I hear about the crime in my country, but it seems unreal to me because in my area you'd never know there were dozens of murders last weekend.

Does this affect your life?

You never know when you are going to be targeted, so you live in this constant fear. Ask anyone who lives in Brazil what they do if they see two guys in a motorcycle coming their way.

I've been robbed at gun point; I've woken up with someone inside my bedroom stealing my laptop; I've been followed home; The bus from the public transport system I used to take was stopped by criminals and set on fire; and so on.

It used to affect only the life of those living in the metropolitan areas, but now it is spreading.

The main reason why I moved to the US was because I was living in such a state that I was always tense. When I was robbed at gun point I almost got shot because the guy thought I was too calm and suspected I was a cop.

Living in the US I realized how much that was affecting my daily life and how life without worrying feels like.

That's how it affects your life.

Where did you live in Brazil? As an American I visit the interior of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte often and have never experienced anything like this, nor does it seem my Brazilian friends live in constant anxiety.

I'm from Belo Horizonte now living in Canada... Mostly moved because couldn't take the anxiety of being in fear every single time I had to leave home.

Most people just play the numbers game. I, for example, have been robbed at gunpoint, with a knife, with 4 teenagers threatening to beat me up when I was 14 and I was even "lightning kidnapped" (I don't even know the term in English, but I was put in a car and bandits kept me for 8 hours and drove me around waiting for the banking hours to reset the withdraw money from ATM to take more form my account).

A lot of my friends, though, have never been robbed at all.

In general, we all know we are subject to that, but in the end it is mostly just bad or good luck. Just being in the wrong place in the wrong time.

From all the people I know, those that have never been through this just live life mostly normally. But once you've suffered that at least once, you can never really fully rest again.

The homicides problem on that news is actually not that relevant in that context because, as others have said, it is really concentrated in poor neighborhoods or slums, where the State basically is nonexistent.

For example, in a lot of violent slums, criminals take and sell access to pirated cable TV, energy and water, to the point where the official employees can be made to fix stuff when they go there to try and cut signals. That is how absent the state is in those places.

But when you see homicides numbers like that go up, probably the random crimes to the whole population is going up as well.

I had a friend in São Paulo that was mugged twice in the same day.

I'm from Belo Horizonte and the constant anxiety is real, of course it's not a problem every moment but shows up in every situation.

Waiting for the bus every day of the week for 15-30min, you're very exposed, and should be careful with your phone out, and some people learn your commute time, follow you, it's rare, but if you're not paying attention, it can happen.

I personally used to(don't live there anymore) double check every corner I step into to make sure there's nothing suspicious.

It's anecdotal of course but I've had three of my friends having their cellphone stolen in the same day, and at least one per day for a two week span.

My parents moved into a gated community which is supposed to be safer, only to have their house robbed their first month there, robbers get in facilitated by the staff.

I could go on with anecdotes for a long time, and just for the last year.

Brazil is the example I use to explain to people why I'm in favor of the 2nd amendment and Stand Your Ground laws.

When owning a gun is criminal, only criminals will have guns and everyone else will be unable to defend themselves. If ordinary citizens had guns, at least in their own home, the criminals would think twice about breaking and entering because they won't know which homes are armed.

In Brazil? I don't think US gun mentality works there.

Have you seen what middle class houses look like in Sao Paulo? They have metal bars in all windows, tall spiked gates and tetra locks are fairly common.

But that doesn't stop thieves from being crafty and daring. They rob people at gunpoint at busy intersections and ATMs in broad daylight, do flash kidnappings, etc. There was even a raid at a police headquarters one time.

And we haven't even got to favelas, which are an entire different can of worms.

Well, yes, they do it because they know the population is not armed.

Not really, they do it because they know can get away with it.

I've heard horror stories of people that got attacked by like 7 guys holding assault rifles when the wife was pulling into the garage. Your safety magnum in the bedroom isn't gonna do anything for you in that case, and chances are they are just gonna steal it from you if they find it.

Also, a lot of robberies happen on the streets. A middle-class person open-carrying a gun is just going to be a pickpocket target, and concealed carry is going to be vulnerable to two-team robbers (one approaches you, the hidden one shoots you from the back if you fight back).

In a favela, the drug gang would probably just raid your house and steal your gun, if you could even afford one. Or, more likely, your kid would end up joining the gang.

If you dont think having guns would change this situation, you are oblivious.

I never said guns would not change the situation, but I do believe they would make things worse.

When was the last time you've heard of a gun-wielding vigilante saving the day in the US? Was he in his car with his family getting robbed by 3 teenagers at a stop light?

I lived in Brazil and I've been robbed and I've witnessed people being shot in gang fights, and I don't see how having a gun on me would've helped, so forgive me if I'm cynical of armchair vigilantism.

This happened in Brazil:


I suspect that the reason you don't hear about a "gun-wielding vigilante saving the day in the US" has more to do with the media sources you consume. Here is a scholarly article detailing how common defensive gun use is in the United States:


Estimates range from 100,000 to 2.5 million. Even at the very very low end of those estimates, there are at least 100,000 instances of a "gun-wielding vigilante saving the day in the US" every year that you never hear about.

I also suspect it's hard to understand how a gun would have helped you when you don't know how to use a gun, which I suspect is the case given your position on guns from this thread.

It's entirely possible for the average citizen to acquire the same firearm training as a police officer or soldier and therefore be capable of providing the same level of protection.

I could also show a bunch of cases where someone reacted and died. We could be cherrypicking stories to the end of times, even.

At the end of the day, while it's easy to say you yourself could've protected yourself (because macho power amirite?), it takes borderline sociopathic composition for someone to say with a straight face that their mother should not only carry a gun but also react to a robbery and shoot a living person if the situation calls for it.

> It's entirely possible for the average citizen

The average salary in Brazil is like $700 per month. You'd have to be quite privileged indeed to be able to afford something as extravagant as shooting classes.

People earning $700 a month aren't the people who are getting mugged on a regular basis. You can't even pull out your cell phone in many places.

Furthermore, I didn't even advocate for someone's mother to carry again. That's a weak strawman.

I'm advocating for responsible citizens to be allowed to purchase a gun for self defense. Not everyone needs one. The overwhelming majority don't need one and shouldn't be carrying one. Just a small minority of responsible gun owners that take time to train themselves in how to use their firearm would go a long way to acting as a deterrent. Register them. Require training. Whatever is necessary to ensure responsible people can carry them or at least keep them in their own home.

Many of my friends have been robbed at gunpoint in Brazil, including my girlfriend who was robbed about 1-2 years ago. The situation is completely out of control.

Here's another one from Brazil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S7SPrb6oj4

This kind of defensive gun use should be permitted.

Também, pare de tentar me educar sobre o meu próprio país.

> People earning $700 a month aren't the people who are getting mugged

Oh, but they do. Ask your housekeeper, your kid's teacher or if you want to be statistical, literally any random person on the street. Everyone I've ever talked to, from all walks of life, has a first-hand story or knows someone who does. To be fair, my experience is mostly from the Sao Paulo/ABCD area. Maybe things are not that bad outside of Sao Paulo and Rio, and if so, good for them.

> Também, pare de tentar me educar sobre o meu próprio país

If I came across that way, I apologize. That was not my intention.

I feel like it's fine to wish to have one more tool at your disposal if you are responsible and a financially well enough to get a gun for self-defense, but I also feel that it won't really help in the grand scheme of things, for the same reason that having a switchblade in your pocket is not the greatest idea right now. I knew a burly someone who was with his just-as-burly cop dad during a bank robbery. They -along with 30 other people- did not react, and later when he asked his dad why, his response was "well aren't you glad to be alive now". Maybe there are cases where a gun can help, but there are also cases where it won't and cases where legal gun ownership might just become another avenue for guns to get into wrong hands. There are an overwhelming number of cases where you just don't know what will happen. I'm not convinced pro-gun-ownership laws are going to be a net positive, precisely because things are so out of control, as you said yourself. You disagree, and that's fine.

> The overwhelming majority don't need one and shouldn't be carrying one.

Personally, with the idea in mind that I wanted to protect myself and not necessarily worry or care about the vast majority of the population, I took a route that I believe is far more effective to protect myself and completely orthogonal to the possibility that my political view might make things worse for those 200M+ people: I left Brazil.

It’s not a dichotomy. Both are reasons why they do it.

I'm Brazilian.

This also somewhat works as a deterrent when those criminals are dressed in blue and carry badges if it's widespread in society, although clearly it only prevents the worst of the worst abuses as seen in the US.

While I agree that being able to own weapons is a great thing, that alone wouldn't stop all types of crimes. One might be able to protect oneself from some random robber and other opportunistic types, but killing a well-connected or powerful criminal might cause a small army to hunt down the one responsible. No citizen can take on drug lords alone.

When owning a gun is criminal, only some criminals will have guns instead of all of them. And defending yourself with a gun is idiocy.

Not that I am against the second amendment, I think some idealism in your constitution is great. Much better than the cynical heartlessness your country is ruled with today.

Two of my experiences living in the interior: at a rather crowded county fair, a group of teens ran by and I thought nothing of it. They ran by again and I took another look and realized it was a group chasing one guy. And the guy from the group, closest to the one being chased, had a proper machete in his hand and was just about to put it into the back of the neck of the one being chased when the latter slipped on something, just enough to be able to regain balance and run away, while the rest chased him.

Another time, I heard a ruckus from my room and looked out the window to see a group of about 20 men shouting. I had no idea what it could be about, but later realized it was a public lynching. That is, someone who either did something bad or was just thought to have done something bad, was caught by the group. Usually in these cases, there's no stopping the mob (from collectively beating the person to death).

Despite my two comments in this thread about some of the negative aspects of living in Brazil, I was never robbed or anything. And, it goes without saying (or, perhaps it needs to be said), there are many reasons to love the country, culture and people. These very real extremes, of positivity and negativity, make it a confusing place to be.

In Florianópolis. It is a big island and it used to be very peaceful, until the work to "clean up" Rio's and Sao Paulo's slums was started in preparation for the World Cup and Olympic Games.

I went to Rio and São Paulo last year, and EVERYONE I met gave me constant warnings about being safe in Rio. I felt a lot more comfortable walking aimlessly around São Paulo than Rio, not because I saw anything bad, but because of the warnings and general feel.

Not Brazilian but I used to live there. I'd say one of the main problems for the average citizen is the general uncertainty. When you leave your house to go out for the night, for example, you're planning your route based on what streets you're less likely to be robbed on. On TV, last year, a woman from Rio was being interviewed at the hospital and said "it used to be if you left your house, you didn't know if you'd be coming back. Now you don't even know if you'll get to where you're trying to go."

Personally, and due to the mostly tropical weather, living in Brazil also means wearing simple clothes, nothing fancy (not that this was a derivation from my actual style). Some people apparently carry a stealable amount of money on them - possibly in a second wallet, in a place that can be easily reached for when/if held up.

A few years ago, I saw a news report about the popularity of an anti-theft accessory for the back of one's cell phone, connected to a ring that goes on the user's finger, so that no one can run by and grab it. Though when confronted with someone who stops you and wants your phone, it's best to just give it to them, cause they could be not only armed but on drugs (ex. sniffing glue). Plus, if you do react, it's possible - depending on your location, like downtown or the beach - they have several friends nearby.

Malls tend to be the de facto "public space" where teens hang out, due to a lack of actual safe public spaces.

I'm sure I could say a lot more but those are some general thoughts that come to mind. Most of my years in Brazil were spent in Rio, fyi.

You get super paranoid. I've lived in Rio de Janeiro all my life, and I've never heard of anyone who either was never mugged or had someone very close that was (by someone close, I mean spouse, parent or child).

I've seen three people being mugged in front of my place, and I don't live in a place locals would call "dangerous".

But that's just me. Besides some common practices that have become instinct, like not using your phone outside and looking over your shoulder in desert places (or avoiding these places altogether), I think the majority of the population got numb to this situation and just accepted it like it is normal.

I know a German guy who married a Brazilian wife and moved to Brazil to run a pharmacy. They came back after two years because they couldn't take it anymore. There were a ton of street robberies and store break-ins so they never felt safe. It must be real bad and hard to escape the violence unless you are rich and live in gated communities.

I live in Florianopolis, the capital of one of the best state to live in Brazil (Santa Catarina). I have been robbed three times. Even people who have never been a victim will have the same feeling. Burglars are seen (and effectively are) potential murders. Every now and then someone is catch by security cameras being shot during an armed assault for meaningless reasons, such as the criminal not liking your face, not liking your possessions or discovering that you work for/is a policemen.

Brazilian here as well. We have all those problems because there is a lack of opportunity for real growth. Most violence in the country is economically motivated (muggings and carjackings). Under the last three administrations, the government focused on handouts instead of investing in infrastructure (rail, ports, etc.). The handouts got so bad with no additional revenue that the government was becoming insolvent and the rating agencies downgraded the country. The first downgrade was a shot across the bow, but when the second downgrade happened, many international institutional investors had a legal requirement to liquidate their investments and vacate the country. At that point investments dried up and growth slowed to a crawl.

The PT is a cancer in the country and has set the country back 10-20 years at least.

Have you guys tried legalizing drugs yet? I don't mean decriminalizing small quantities of weed or even legalizing weed like Uruguay. I mean full out legalization with legal stores everywhere and legal pipelines. To me that's the giant elephant in the room, the clearly obvious solution. Not to mention all the things that tax money could go to. Now drug manufacturers, transporters, and dealers don't have to resort to violence and you can use the money to improve everyone's lives. Sure, the US might be pissy for a bit, but you can have some balls and stand up to our stupid, crumbling empire, or you can just keep going on the way things have been for decades: more violence, more incarcerations, more of the same shit that doesn't work.

Resolving violence problem is hard. If the government is not onboard with you, technology is almost useless.

Assuming your government (the justice department at least) still functioning, electronic banking transaction MAY actually reduce random street robberies. Because those kind of transaction will almost certainly leaves some kind of trace behind, which gives law enforcement a chance to discover illegal activities.

how do you forgot the bank robery?

Well remembered. We have a whole ATM-exploding business in Brazil. Haven't heard of anything similar elsewhere in the world.

Exploding ATM's is also a problem in The Netherlands. It is probably a thing everywhere, I've been to ATM's in the US where you have to go through a glass door before you can get to the ATM, I think for this reason.

I recently moved to a "bad neighborhood" and was very surprised to learn that there was only one murder here last year, and it was between friends who had stolen something from each other.

There were only around 13,000 murders last year in the US, a number that used to be more like 26,000 during the crack epidemic 30 years ago. US population has increased by 10s of millions since then, but murders continue to drop.

Additonally, 90% of murders occur between people who know each other in some form, be it neighbors or classmates. Being robbed at gunpoint on the street or in your apartment and then shot to death is quite rare, especially if you arent in places like Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, NOLA, Cleveland, St Louis.

The USA certainly isn't perfect but I was thrilled to get a good price on a great apartment in what everyone else calls "the hood". I will take my chances that I won't be the unlucky 1 out of 11,000 people who is shot here every year.

I mean, there's more to a "good" or "bad" neighbourhood than how many people die each year. There's all the other types of crime, for instance...

That, and if you want to raise a family, what kind of role models and community surrounds your children is important.

On the flip side, it probably helps if good role models are willing to take their chances in establishing their presence in an at risk community. Change has to start somewhere.

Sure, that's called gentrification.

Reduced crime is one aspect of gentrification, but generally it's a changing demographic as people get priced out of a neighbourhood.

Yeah, when I hear "bad neighborhood", I think more of property related crime, graffiti, loitering, abandoned/neglected houses, etc.

Murders in the US are extremely unevenly distributed. Most Americans live their entire lives without ever knowing anyone who was murdered. Many "bad neighborhoods" are not bad because of the prevalence of murder, but because of the prevalence of burglary, theft, etc.

I don't really care about those crimes because I don't own valuable things. I could recover easily if someone stole my car, which is worth less than $1,000.

I do care about rape, assault, and murder. I don't ever want to be caught up in that. So I was very glad to learn that though my small town has an above average murder rate, it's between people who don't associate with me.

Anecdotally, I wonder how true this is. I'm two degrees separated from two people who were murdered--one was a colleague of my father (killer never caught, suspected they knew each other, though), one a friend of my sister (also never caught, though less likely a friend/acquaintance due to her age). Surely my experience isn't that unique?? If so, wow.

I don't think it is unique if you are using two degrees of separation.

A) A friend's sister who got addicted to crack and was murdered by a guy her bf pissed off. He was caught.

B) One of my previous bosses had a cousin murdered in a domestic terrorist attack.

I think the world has about 3.5 degrees of separation. Probably 2 degrees is more than half the country?

I'm pretty sure it's about the same in Brazil too, most murders are drug and gang related

Yes, about 80% are drug related.

What is the conflict that's causing such a high rate?

I associate Col/Mex deaths with cartels warring over trafficking routes but what is happening in Brazil? Is it just street trade?

Brazil has 3 national-level drug cartels that are in their own mini-war. Besides that, some cities (like Rio and São Paulo) have many local cartels that constantly fight over territory.

Col is a producer, Mex is a route to the US, Brazil is a route to Europe

Normal business disputes are settled through the courts (or the threat of the courts). Disputes related to illegal business are settled through violence. The state benefits by maintaining a base level of violence, so it always keeps some popular industries outlawed.

>> here were only around 13,000 murders last year in the US

And 5% of those were in Chicago alone.

Not sure why Chicago was brought up, but it is worth noting that it is a huge city with a population that is nearly the size of the entire state of Michigan. Despite popular imagination, in terms of per capita homicide rates, Chicago is actually middle of the pack. [1] Newark has a higher homicide rate.

[1] https://www.thetrace.org/2018/04/highest-murder-rates-us-cit...

Even here in New Orleans, violence tends to be between people who have a relationship with each other or at least know one another.

Murder is not the only crime people try to avoid.

>S population has increased by 10s of millions since then, but murders continue to drop.

Yet mass shootings are becoming dramatically more common.

What I find curious is that while the Brazilian murder rate is about 6 or 7 times that in the US, the rate of firearm related deaths is 'only' double. Is firearm suicide dramatically more common in the US, or are a lot of the murders perpetrated in Brazil not firearm related? It just seems odd.

70-80% of all firearm deaths in the US are suicide related.

Closer to 66%,

https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-america/ Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides.5 The U.S. gun suicide rate is eight times that of other high-income countries.6 Access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by three times.7 Gun suicides are concentrated in states with high rates of gun ownership.8 Most people who attempt suicide do not die—unless they use a gun. Across all suicide attempts not involving a firearm, less than five percent will result in death.9 But for gun suicides, those statistics are flipped: approximately 85 percent of gun suicide attempts end in death

The US owns 40% of guns in the world. 4% of the world's population. Yet only 3.7% of homicides.

Lots of the murders in Brazil are firearms related and it has very strong gun-control laws. The average citizen is not allowed to own a gun.

You simply did not live in a bad neighborhood by American standards. The worst neighborhoods in Chicago have murder rates far worse than Brazil as a country. For example Brazil has an intentional homicide rate around 30, whereas Chicago has 26 neighborhoods higher, with the most dangerous one, Engelwood, topping out at 172. To put that in context, the world's most dangerous city is Caracas at 120.


Comparing a Chicago neighborhood to a South American city seems a little disingenuous.

It might be more appropriate to compare the most violent neighborhood in Chicago to the most violent neighborhood in a similarly-sized Venezuelan city. Just as you would compare the safest neighborhoods in both cities.

Venezuelan here. I was gonna make the same point.

Imagine how bad Caracas is, given that the population is roughly the same (or a little larger than Chicago's). There are no official numbers for Caracas as the government "chose" not to report. But Chicago has a 15.65 murde rate vs. a +110 in Caracas (per 100 000).

I don't even want to think what's the rate for the equivalent of Engelwood in Caracas :(

Exactly. The murder rate in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city was in the 50's. It has recently dropped to 6.1 per 100,000 residents and is quite safe.

So the city is in some cases MORE safe than the less urban areas, the main reason for this drop was a drop in gang violence based on the consolidation and dominant victory of a single gang. That gang is the PCC.

In areas where multiple gangs are still fighting for control the violence can be incredible.

"to put that into context" -me

I was giving context of what that number means. Not claiming Chicago is more violent than Caracas.

At one point during the US military involvement in Afghanistan you were more likely to get murdered in Chicago than get killed in active combat.


Random crime in general is actually pretty rare. You are always most likely to be a victim of a crime by a family member, 2nd a person you know.

Even in Brazil I bet a lot of this happens in communities, where they can try to justify violence due to some perceived slight.

And of course let's not forget that America's crazy gun laws are pushed by gun lobbies because they help increase sales by creating an easy way to funnel guns into South and Central America.

Much of the violence is there because of things like The School of the Americas and the work of US interests in promoting less democratic states to make it easier to gather resources (see the book: Confessions of an Economic Hitman). While it may not be directly related to the gang violence, those policies do spill over and make this sort of trend easier.

> let's not forget that America's crazy gun laws are pushed by gun lobbies because they help increase sales by creating an easy way to funnel guns into South and Central America.

Could we please stick to facts? US gun laws have essentially no impact on this issue. Based on murder rates, it would seem like Brazil is the place with "crazy" gun laws. Shifting responsibility for Brazil's violence to US gun manufacturers is intellectually dishonest. Ultimately, Brazilians are pulling triggers and they're pulling triggers of mostly Brazilian weapons.

US gun makers sell a lot more guns to Americans than Brazilians, yet Brazil has 63,880 homicides? The US had 17,250 homicides and over 125 million more people. The idea that Brazilian homicides are because of US gun makers is just absurd.

Homicide rates don't directly correlate to gun availability. Mexico had 29,168 homicides in 2017 with a population of 200 million fewer people than in the US. And Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws anywhere. Venezuela has the third highest murder rate in the world and the influence of the US gun lobby is non-existent. Most weapons there have some sort of Soviet/Cuban/socialist origin. You won't find too many Smith and Wesson's on the streets of Caracas.

Venezuela passed the "Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law" with the stated aim of disarming all citizens, with prison sentences up to 20 years for even possessing a gun. And what happened? The homicide rate rose from 73 per 100k to 90 per 100k (despite Maduro being known from undercounting crime.) Correlation doesn't imply causation of course, but the point is that Venezuela's homicide rates have nothing to do with the US gun lobby. It's absurd to even make such a connection.

In Brazil, over 68% of guns seized by police were manufactured by Brazilian government subsidized firms including Taurus, Rossi, IMBEL and CBC. Most of these guns were purchased or stolen from Brazil. My 68% number comes from 2014, but here's a report from 2011-2012 that shows similar numbers: http://www.soudapaz.org/upload/file/relatorio_armas_do_crime...

The point is that some political cheap shot on US gun laws and the "gun lobby" isn't even relevant to this problem in Brazil. In terms of "assault" rifles, an AK-47 is more common in Brazil than US-manufactured weapons. So we could just as as much argue that leftist-government gun policies are just as much to blame since AK-47s are vestiges of the Soviet-Cuban-backed socialist revolutionary groups from the 1980s. But even that argument is weak considering the vast majority of weapons used in Brazilian violent crime are handguns of Brazilian origin.

The point is, Brazilian violent crime is a Brazilian problem. Dragging US gun laws into this debate is just ridiculous since such an assertion isn't backed by any actual data.

"Homicide rates don't directly correlate to gun availability. Mexico had 29,168 homicides in 2017 with a population of 200 million fewer people than in the US. And Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws anywhere."

Strict gun laws don't necessarily equal less gun availability.

You have to look at how effectively those gun laws are enforced, how much corruption there is in the country, gun law loopholes, the viability of the black/gray markets, etc.

The US has a much lower level of corruption than a country like Mexico, so gun laws in the US have the potential to be much more strictly enforced. The US also has many more resources to devote to stamping out the black/gray markets for guns than Mexico does.

There's also infiltration by criminals of much of Mexico's government. It's a case of the fox guarding the hen house. No wonder their gun laws are not effective.

Gun control laws in these countries are very effective. They're effective at making sure law-abiding citizens remain unarmed and can't defend themselves.

> America's crazy gun laws are pushed by gun lobbies because they help increase sales by creating an easy way to funnel guns into South and Central America.

What? The Bill of Rights was that prescient? I assume it is our freedom of the press that’s responsible for the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf?

Brit here, no but the Communist Manifesto is on us.

My point exactly

Another Brazilian here. I’ve lived in Australia for 15 years, Brisbane for 5 and Sydney for 10.

I reckon both cities are some of the cleanest safest cities in the world.

I grew up in Rio, left when I was 20. Still to this day I’ve got the street reflexe. My partner, who’s Swedish, finds it mostly amusing, sometimes rude.

For example:

I won’t sit with my back to a door or a hallway, corridor etc.

I don’t tolerate people walking behind me closer than 5-10 meters, I’ll literally turn around and pretend to tie my shoe laces or look at a shop window.

And I think most of all, I can tell immediately if someone is sussing me out, looking for a vulnerability, something of value I’m wearing, etc. I see the eyes, I hear the body language.

All of this from someone who grew up in a middle-upper class neighbourhood in Rio (Ipanema).

I’m wearing an Apple Watch and I’ve got an iPhone 8 Plus in my pocket atm. I often leave the house with a $2000 dollar Sony a7iii câmera just because I “might see something I want to photograph”. My friends in Rio simply wouldn’t comprehend...

One more Brazilian here to confirm the stereotypes.

I always think photographers are like heroes for the audacity to go out with good cameras in hand all the time.


"Thus, disarmament is effectively happening in Brazil,[12] as are massive gun confiscations,[13] notwithstanding its refusal by Brazilian people (at the referendum of 2005). Some argue that this will increase gun homicides. Other research shows that there is a decrease in firearm deaths correlating with disarmament.[14][15] However, 2012 marked the highest rate of gun deaths in 35 years for Brazil, 8 years after a ban on carrying handguns in public went in to effect,[16] and 2016 saw the worst ever death toll from homicide in Brazil, with 61,619 dead.[17] Only to rise again in 2017 to 63,880 a 3.7 per cent rise from 2016. [18] "

Doesn't seem like the gun laws are working out.

They aren't.

Acquiring a firearm legally is a ridiculously bureaucratic process where you must submit to psychological evaluations by the military and "justify" your "need" to own a gun. If you manage to get approved by that long process, your reward is an extremely limited selection of revolvers chambered in weak calibers that you can't carry with you outside your home or place of work. The weapon must be registered in a military database and tied to your name and those soldiers can suddenly decide to drop by and inspect your gear. There is a limit to how much ammunition you can purchase per year, so the only way you can practice with the guns is by making your own rounds. You can't even transport your weapon from place to place without notifying them and acquiring some kind of permit. Alternatively, you can become a gun collector who can own everything but can't legally fire any of the weapons, not even for practice.

Criminals don't care about gun laws. They just purchase weapons from the black market, no background check or psychological evaluations or anything. Burglars used to consider the risks before breaking into a home, but now they're sure they will be unopposed. Drug traffickers are much better armed than the police force that ought to stop them and have become so powerful in their domains they could be considered parallel states, with laws, judges and everything. Ironically, they often stop smaller crimes like robbery from happening because not having a safe environment for people to buy drugs in hurts their profits; photos of graffiti messages warning criminals they'll be killed if they get caught robbing people can be found on the internet. The entire disarmament thing assumes the police will do their jobs and keep people safe, but the police won't even enter these areas because they're outmanned and outgunned. That's why the government felt the need to use the military in order to regain control of Rio de Janeiro. They used armored vehicles to fight against people who are technically citizens of their own country.

Don't ever let the government take your guns away.

If the police are refusing to do their job, that sounds like a bigger problem. Professionals trained in firearm usage and gang suppression would be far more effective than a disparate group of individuals owning a non-revolving pistol and shotgun. England doesn’t have this problem despite having very restrictive laws.

It is a huge problem. I don't fully understand the causes myself but corruption is likely to be part of it. People just don't have what is necessary to do their jobs and this demoralizes them. They start neglecting the problems ("I'm not gonna risk my life for this salary just to arrest some robber who'll probably be released anyway because he's a child") or become corrupt as well ("I'm gonna make some money on the side overlooking criminal activity"). Instead of stopping crime, the authorities seem to develop a state of equilibrium with it.

So it comes down to this: do you trust your government? I don't trust mine. I'd rather they decentralized public security instead so that people can at least try to do what they haven't been doing in decades.

One counterexample - Pakistan.

Gun ownership is legal with a license. No legal discrimination of automatic/non-automatic weapons (though there is a never ending tragicomedy in national assembly over enacting automatic arms prohibition.) Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa famously licenses private ownership of artillery pieces.

Yet, gun crime is the last issue one cares about here. A man with a steel pipe on a dark alley is by far a bigger threat. Most robberies are done by people in terminal stages of economic marginalisation. And for the few people who have more things to steal from than their immediate personal possessions here, a bigger threat is abduction.

But there is virtually nothing like "a random guy assaults another random guy in the streets"

Most guns used in crime in Brazil are in the hands of criminals (usually traffic) and militia (which is just different criminals with ties to the police). They wouldn't exactly be purchasing those guns with their ids. A lot of it comes from the police and the army.

Gun laws protect civilians against civilians. There are no school shootings here that I'm aware of for instance (exceptions are usually targeted events), despite all the other violence.

Homicides in Brazil are only investigated for upper class victims. Violence against marginalized communities are mostly shrugged off if not outright desired by part of the conservative populace. They take pride in saying "bandido bom é bandido morto" (good thief is a dead thief) and revel in the fact that our police is responsible for countless deaths and executions without any shroud of due process.

IMO the only viable solution is for marginalized people to have true opportunity other than slave wages or a short career in drug trafficking. However since 2016 we are set on the opposite direction, so expect violence to increase with up to 40 mil new unemployed people and no budget to speak of for welfare, education and health.

"There are no school shootings here that I'm aware of " (Referring to brazil).

Here is an entire list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Brazil

Most of those are not school shootings. Here's a more comprehensive list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_massacres_by_de...

As you can see, the vast vast majority of school shootings occur in the US, with China coming in at a distant 2nd place. There are only 4 school massacres in Brazil (of which only 2 involve a gun according to wikipedia), and Brazil is a country with a population of more than 200 million.

Gun violence in Brazil has historically been rampant, but school shootings there are in fact _extremely_ rare.

Eleven of 13 of that list are not related to schools.

I don't want to dismiss your point, when it comes to gun control I don't really have a strong opinion, I see both sides. But I wouldn't simply put these numbers in direct correlation with gun control.

There are other factors that are much more important than gun control changes such as the political crisis, economical crisis and rise in gang violence filled by drug dollars.

Brazil's population is growing, so it's really the rate of violence especially for 15-35 year olds that's important.

However, all current and past statistics are questionable making assessment difficult.

Venenzuela fully “disarmed” in 2013. And the murder rate went up significantly. Mexico is also “disarmed” and their murder rate is sky high. There is no correlation to gun disarming and crime rate reduction. The problems aren’t caused by guns, but by disfunctional governments.

Even in America your point stands. Chicago and LA have strict gun laws and out of control crime

Lowering crime rates has never really been the goal of gun confiscation.

Eesh. If all of this is accurate, it is problematic indeed. I wonder how many of these homicides would cease to occur if drugs were made legal in Brazil (I wonder about this worldwide). I've never understood why it's difficult for people to understand the awful incentive structures that making drugs illegal puts into motion.

I just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.

'Making drugs legal' is frequently miss-understood. Treating addiction as a public health problem by decriminalising addicts and personal posession while keeping the trade in drugs firmly illegal, as in Portugal and now Norway, looks like the way to go.

The recent changes to the law in Norway are widely reported as 'decriminalising drugs'. That is highly misleading. They have decriminalised drug use and personal possession, but the drugs trade itself is still criminal.

Decriminalizing possession doesn't do anything to help the violence associated with the drug trade though, does it? I thought that was one of the main reasons for the "legalize completely" argument.

Yes it does, by dramatically reducing rates of addiction and drug use. Take away vast swathes of the market for illegal drugs and the violence associated with it subsides. At least that’s what has happened in Portugal. Now that Norway is following suit, in the years to come we will have another case study to look at.

Different thing.

There aren't black markets for things that aren't illegal. Often, the gang murders we thing of are "turf wars" where one gang is competing with another gang for the same sales territory.

So legalizing drug trade likely decreases drug gangs, which likely decreases murders. People might still die from drug use, but that becomes a separate problem.

We dont know if this is true,because no developed country has decriminalised the drug trade. It seems to me that doing that would increase drug use and the associated public health and social problems. I’m much more in favour of decriminalising use but keeping the trade itself illegal, as in Portugal. That enables attacking the problem from both directions at the same time. Restrict availability through cracking down on dealers, while also removing the market through treatment and rehabilitation.

We have alcohol in the U.S. as an example; It was made illegal; so gangs moved into the import business and made more money than they had before - gangs had turf wars bigger than they had had before.

Moonshiners started making it, and sometimes it created poison.

The police were corrupted where corruptible or killed when they didn't go the gangs ways.

The rich had parties and skirted the enforcement of the law.

Here in Uruguay, marijuana is legal, and homicides are at an all-time high (higher than Argentina and very near to the rates in Brazil, we used to be at less than a quarter).

I´m not sure if decriminalizing all drugs would change the equation much (there´s still smuggling, prostitution and other vices to lord over).

> Here in Uruguay, marijuana is legal, and homicides are at an all-time high

Are the homicides because of drug related issues? What about other drugs like cocaine and heroin?

Uruguay almost surely feels a strong influence from the Brazilian policies.

This is the only real solution. No country has yet tried it. Legalizing weed (Uruguay, some US states) is not even in the same ballpark as what you suggest here (which is my suggestion too in another comment). Until you can go into a pharmacy and buy coke, heroin, and other shit like that over the counter, this problem will never go away. Maybe if murder rates double again and again it'll motivate people to change their government enough to get this done. I don't know how many people must die before governments start to change their stupid drug policies, but clearly, we are nowhere near the amount needed. A fucking waste of millions of lives (if you count incarceration too). Just to be clear, Brazil is in no way unique here.

At this point I'm almost convinced that Brazil keeps the drugs illegal due to the pressure from dealers alone.

Why do you think homocide rates are somehow correlated with legality of drug usage?

Because 80% of them are directly related to drug dealers. (Or at least that's what the news keeps saying here.)

Have you compared that number with countries where drug usage is legal?

You are working hard to find a problem with it, aren't you?

80% of the crimes being linked to drug use means that most people will only care about the remaining 20%.

But, anyway, AFAIK, drug usage is not a crime in Brazil. Dealing is. And for dealing related crimes to go away, one has to legalize the entire production and distribution.

Brazil, like most of South (and now perhaps north too?) America suffers from macho populism. A lot of character politicians with tough messages, empty promises and sadly the population just falls for it every time.

These stats, along with others, is the result of years of populism, corruption and neglect.

Let’s ignore the fact that the last president was a woman and that this is the direct result of her party disastrous administration. Blame machismo. It always works.

Your first point is a good one. However I don’t think you can blame one administration with all this mess surely?

Not one but 3 and a half. Her predecessor from the same party ruled for 8 years and she was president for 6 years before being impeached for fiscal embezzlement. So yeah... 12 years in which crime rates skyrocketed.

Crime reduction in 1992 (in the US) is attributed by some to Roe v Wade (1972). It took 20 years. The young people who are dying now (guns deaths hit the young and poor the worst) were born at the end of the 1990s and start of 2000s, which was a period of high unemployment and even famine (300 children died of malnutrition per day in 2001).

There is a competing theory to Roe V Wade, lead poisoning. A HN regular is the Mother Jones article, and it makes a compelling argument.


The lower house has 513 members and 54 women. The senate has 81 members and 13 women. Only 12% of mayors are women. Dilma was the first and only female president.

I love how you still hold on to the narrative that if we elect women all the problems will go away when in Brazil female politicians like Dilma Housseff and Gleisi Hoffman are pretty much as corrupt as their male counterparts.

The world is not an Ivy League campus. It is kinda insulting you think this is the cause of crime.

Brazillian here. Living in country of Rio. I avoid going to Rio (capital) as much as possible. Tomorrow I'm visiting family there and the tension increases a bit because of uncertainty. I have watched robberies live, car stealing. Two of my neighbords were shot by a rifle in Rio when crossing "linha vermelha". My wife has been kidnaped once. This year her brother had his car shot 3 times. (He does Uber) My brother was almost hit by a lost bullet recently in Rio downtown, missed by 50cm. I could probably go on listing this sort of things endlessly. People from Rio are used to this and consider it the way life is. It is not like they like or accept violence but don't have the means of doing much about it. Brazil is a puppet state. Not sovereign. The state is dysfunctional. The violence problem can be tracked to state policies. But the state has no will to solve any of it. Just mask it and keep going (nowhere good for civilians). It is an actual goal of state to things to not work. That is the goal, and standard policy. Like the last 5 times tried to contact police for reporting ongoing (live) stealings all failed. Most times couldn't even report. There is a queue of calls that take a long time. And when they answer, they just tell you to mind your business. Now I even don't bother reporting anything. They won't do a thing. They don't care. In fact, they are just FOLLOWING ORDERS.

People are too powerless to influence the state in any meaningful way. At the end of the day the law/state is at the side of criminals. I wish Brazil would change ownership so policy could be changed.

Traffic deaths are nearly at the same level (nearly 50k per year) even though statistics only count those who died on the spot. I fear the road more than guns, because most shootings occur in certain regions (mainly poor neighbourhoods) which I can avoid.

While still shocking, life in Brazil isn't the kinda Aleppo like bloodshed this article portrays. Majority of victims are young male gang members sucked into the drug turf wars.

The majority of deaths in the war in Syria have also been combatants with only being minority civilians, a substantial minority certainly but I suspect there's a reasonable minority of "civilians" killed in Brazilian drug wars.

This 63K killed/year figure seems to exceed some years of the Syrian civil war. Brazil is a larger country but the drug war is concentrated in a minority of the country. The one thing you're not getting is bombed out apartment buildings and mass population displacements.

Edit: I mean, "not Aleppo like" is true for some interpretation of the phrase but one certainly shouldn't view this a "no reason to worry if you haven't consciously entered the drug trade" or something.


Thanks for that. I was sceptical and went for a dig. In most conflicts the civilian to combatant death ratio is high, with numbers like 9:1 cited. This is probably over estimated but having a civilian toll lower than combatant is unusual. As far as I can tell Syria has a toll of about 3.5 combatants to each civilian.


Indeed, as your link essentially states, civilian to combatant casualty rates are complex. As your link notes, high ratios like 9:1 have only been documented in a few campaigns.

After WWI, "total warfare" targeting the entire population and productive capacity of the enemy in a mechanized fashion seemed like the logical direction in which war would go. The reality has been somewhat different, with guerrilla warfare and other asymmetrical approaches making political dimensions important also, where on the one hand avoiding unneeded deaths is often a useful political strategy and on the other hand, if the enemy is essentially hardened guerrillas with rocket launchers hiding in caves and supported from outside, that enemy may not be sensitive to the mass destruction of the population and productive capacity of the area. Both these situation make "total war" a less effective strategy (witness the different casualty ratios of the first and second Chechen wars).

> After WWI, "total warfare" targeting the entire population and productive capacity of the enemy in a mechanized fashion seemed like the logical direction in which war would go. The reality has been somewhat different

Not all that different, in the subsequent direct conflicts with full investment by same-tier powers on both sides. But you don't have many of those with major powers since then, WWII being the main one.

> making political dimensions important also,

The political dimension is always paramount even in total war; breaking the will to fight of the enemy population is the point of total war.

More or less. But Brazil is, for example, the world's largest armored (bulletproof) car market. I could name a large amount of social and cultural effects of this low-intensity war we have going on.

Correct, and this happens because Brazil is one of the most disgustingly unequal countries in the world. There was a small pause during the leftist governments when there was a noted improvement in social support for the poor, but the recent events have brought even that to an end. The current government is not only corrupt but is completely anti-people. Their plan is to cut the little existing social net, destroy public education, and put everyone who complains under military surveillance.

The leftist government ruled for 14 years and its responsible for most of the economic and violence problems. What you are saying is that as soon as Dilma was impeached 14 million people lost their jobs and violence skyrocketed. This is simply not true and you are clearly biased. These things don’t happen overnight or even over the span of a couple years. If anything the current government actually improved the economic situation specially when they restricted rampart government spending.

> Their plan is to cut the little existing social net, destroy public education, and put everyone who complains under military surveillance.

Can you give sources for that affirmations?

Just googling:

Brazil: Social services cuts ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics - Amnesty International:


Brazil’s Government Cuts Social Programs to Subsidize Fuel:


Brazil Cuts 5 Million People from Its Popular Social Program Bolsa Família



The article mentioned police killings already being part of the problem. It's common to claim one solve the murder problem by unleashing the police but it is generally documented that police enmeshed in the drug trade and allowing more ex-judicial police murders will just make cops that commonly used enforcers for various drug gangs (a pattern also seen in Mexico where the army was then "leashed" to fight local cops and drug lords, and with no actual reigning in of corruption, you can expect army segments fighting each).

He cannot because it is not true. Even the leftists (the true-blue ones) admit that left leaning governments have dropped the ball big time regarding security.

As other comments already clarified, 90% of the problem is drug-related, the correct fix would be the decriminalization of them.

I know. This is the second time in a couple of weeks that I seem blatant lies about my country here on HN.

For the comments I can see that do many people are trying to excuse the "left" government instead of proposing solutions. This explains alone how we got in this situation.

It's my country too, and I don't recognize any lies in what was linked. Can you link to sources for your claim?

I don't see any lies on what was linked as well, but they are not sources for what he said.

Just look at the links in the parallel comment.

Not a proper source ("braZZil.com really?) and it's only about 1/3 of your claims.

Brazilian army to take control of security in Rio as violence rises; President Temer’s plan aims to curb street crime and gang violence; Proposal criticised by residents of Rio’s favelas


Not a source for "put everyone who complains under military surveillance".

Brazil's Deep Cuts To Science Funding Will Lock Country In The Past


This won't happen https://g1.globo.com/educacao/noticia/2018/08/06/conselho-da...

And you said "destroy public education" like we had a good public education that could be destroyed in the first place.

Edit: I can't reply to the comments bellow, but, again, these are not sources for what you said before "destroy public education".

Brazilians, and especially students, have reason to be angry. PEC 55 will effectively freeze social spending by fixing budgetary increases to social-assistance programs to inflation, rather than GDP, for the next 20 years, severely impacting public health and education. The United Nations’ special rapporteur for extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, condemned the measure, saying that it “will place Brazil in a socially retrogressive category all of its own.”


Brazil’s Ministry of Education has officially announced the end of the Science Without Borders mobility programme The programme had sent about 100,000 Brazilian students for studies abroad as of early 2015, and a previous Brazilian administration had announced plans for a further 100,000 scholarships through 2018 However, funding for Science Without Borders was effectively suspended in late-2015, and this month’s announcement confirms the programme will not continue


Government of Michel Temer has new plans for healthcare as part of plans to slash government expenditure.


Millions of Brazilians Fall Back into Poverty


"Meanwhile, budgetary pressures and the conservative policies of President Michel Temer are translating into cuts in social services. Among those hit is the Bolsa Familia — Family Allowance — program that gives small subsidies each month to qualifying low-income people. It’s credited with much of the poverty reduction during Brazil’s boom decade."

This hardly means that the plan is to "cut the little social net" like you said. Also, couple of paragraphs bellow:

> "An Associated Press review of Bolsa Familia data found coverage declined 4 percentage points between May 2016, when Temer became acting president, and May of this year. Part of that may be due to a crackdown on alleged fraud that started late last year. Temer’s administration announced it had found “irregularities” in the records of 1.1 million recipients — about 8 percent of the 14 million people who receive the benefit. The infractions ranged from fraud to families that were earning above $150 a month, the cutoff to receive the benefit."

Temer’s administration has cut or blocked 1.1 million families from the flagship social program Bolsa Familia, or Family Purse. The program provides a small income to poor families who send their children to school and keep them under a doctor’s supervision, according to government figures.

Data released to The Associated Press after a request was made under Brazil’s freedom of information law shows that most cities affected by cuts to the Family Purse program were based in the poorest regions of Brazil, the north and northeast. Those areas are strongholds of Temer’s adversaries, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.


Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman, Marielle Franco, was brutally murdered alongside her driver, Anderson Gomes, and the assailants remain at large. Marielle was a black, socialist LGBT activist who prominently expressed the politics of alterity in Rio. Born and raised in the Maré favela, she was a staunch critic of police violence against the black inhabitants of Rio’s favelas.


Another crazy stat: 132 politicians in Mexico murdered since September.

Politicians have also been murdered in Brazil. The most known case is municipal representative Marielle from Rio.

That is just a mind blowing number. I mean how the hell are people ever supposed to get anything stable and legitimate?

Fun fact: Brazil has very strict gun control laws.

So does England. One has the ability to enforce them, the other doesn't. The point you are implying, that gun laws do nothing, is ridiculous.

Yeap. Comparing a nation 35 times the side of the other which has cultural and economic differences is totally a valid point. There is also the fact that during a referendum about gun control the vast majority voted in favor of keeping their guns but the social democratic government chose to just ignore the results.

a) It is a fun fact, and b) I think their point was gun laws do nothing without enforcement

If drug prohibition enforcement does not work why would people believe gun enforcement does?

Because drugs and guns aren't similar products.

So do nearly all developed countries

Brazilians are generally extremely cynical about authority and the law. News about political scandals "acabando em pizza" and confrontations with the "policia de choque" are commonplace, and day-to-day life is filled with "dar um jeitinho" and "gambiarras".

Under-the-table abortions happen all the time, politicians and police are assumed to be corrupt, invading land to steal ownership is a thing, etc.

Yes. Are you claiming some form of correlation?

Among all the violence in Brazil, homicides happen mainly in drug-related problems: fights over territory are the majority, "punishments" for unpaid debts come second, and robbery (not exactly kill to steal afterwards, more like "I will kill you just to be sure you won't come after me, nor will identify me").

Guns are out of control in criminal hands, while population in general don't even have one at home. So, given that the cost of ammo is low (in black market), killing is used to gain territory or to send messages to drug users with debt or to general population.

I'm another brazilian here. The crime rate is not as bad as of Venezuela, and >50% of all (ALL) brazilians desires to leave the country.

The problem is simple.

1- It's quite impossible to leave poverty due to state regulations.

2- People are killed by robbers/murderers, or jailed by officers if they try to prepare/defend for themselves.

So both economics and justice are completely distorted towards inhumanity. There's nowhere to go.

That's a sad reality, and it's not a coincidence that Brazil has the strongest world-wide desire for libertarian philosophy, by students/youngsters.




Is that website cutting off the right side of the article text for anybody else?

I tried resizing the window, zooming in and out, and disabling my ad blocker, but the page steadfastly refuses to show the right side of the text. I'm using Chromium and Linux.

I'm a little surprised that other places with military conflicts (eg. middle east) or paramilitary conflicts (eg. Mexico) aren't higher? Maybe those are counted differently?

Within the broad range of violent deaths, the core element of intentional homicide is the complete liability of the direct perpetrator, which thus excludes killings directly related to war or conflicts, self-inflicted death (suicide), killings due to legal interventions or justifiable killings (such as self-defence), and those deaths caused when the perpetrator was reckless or negligent but did not intend to take a human life (non-intentional homicide).


TFA would feel a bit more complete if it included the phrase "per capita".

Is Brazil basically a failed state?

Maybe by design, depending on what you mean. I think organized crime and state corruption (often hard to separate the two) thrives under all that chaos. Brazil is HUGE and I see many people asking to bring control back to each of the states.

How that would help I'm not sure but it's like the government is isolated in their own safe island and they are in most cases untouchable, or just get a slap in the wrist. I'm surprised how in the poorest and uneducated areas you can get lynched or beheaded if someones yells "thief" or "rapist" (even if you're innocent) but there isn't any acts of organized violence against the government.

Yes. It is not sovereign. It is a puppet state. With policies in place to guarantee it's continued failure. You have asked a great question indeed.

Not really. But it's on the deepest revolution in our history.

no, it's a successful state (people are those who failed).

I'm not trying to call Brazil's surely beautiful people out, I'm referring to this concept:


I used another concept.. imagine people as slaves and state agents (mostly politicians) as slave-owners. Does poor slaves implies slave-owners' failure? Nope.

And this is reality in Brazil. Politicians are wealthy, they are paid well, they create monopolies for corporations (and get benefits from it whereas consumers pay the cost) and they may even be corrupt. Some may get caught, sure, but are replaced by others. But nonetheless, the slaves keep hoping for the "right slave owner".

Thus politicians, politics and the state are extremely successful.

In this perspective, a failing state would be one whose politicians are getting less wealthy, lose intervention power and so on. Strong individuals, weak politics is a failed state. But in this situation people are wealthy (contrary to the concept shown on wikipedia).

Another (somehow related) type of failed state are those whose population emigrates massively, therefore slave-owners have less slaves. Or when a secession occurs, where power get less centralized.


We don't have any need here for a comment like this. Please say something meaningful instead, or nothing.


Something that never seems to come up in discussions of violence rates in the Americas is our history of colonial domination. The fraction of people who survived the onslaught of Old-World diseases were not equipped to effectively resist the influx of predatory Europeans. That was and is a very violent process. It's not over.

> Something that never seems to come up in discussions of violence rates in the Americas is our history of colonial domination.

because its not relevant to the topic being discussed.

You don't think that Brazil today is affected by the Brazil of 200, 400, 500 years ago? You don't think that colonial attitudes persist? You don't think that it would be a different nation had not so many natives been killed or enslaved? You don't think that violence is a self-perpetuating cycle?

How the hell does that work?

Its very easy to blame others, its very difficult to accept failure.

Are going to blame colonialism for all the presidential corruption scandals as well?

Blame? What is that? Are you making a moral argument? I'm talking about cause and effect, and I mentioned one cause that exists in Brazil but not in e.g. France.

Blame - feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong, which is exactly what you are doing.

So colonialism is the cause for the recent presidential corruption scandals?

You are the only one talking about presidential corruption. Besides Brazil certainly isn't leading the world on that measure.

SO who are you going to blame for the president being corrupt. If the President is corrupt what messages does it send to the ordinary people. Why should they follow the law if the President does not?

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