The number of young people murdered in Brazil nearly doubled in a little over 20 years, according to the Brazilian anthropologist, Alba Zaluar.
She said that, between 1980 and 2002, the number of homicide victims per 100 thousand youths in the population rose from 30 to nearly 55. 93% of the victims were males; only 7% were females.
According to Zaluar, this index shows that the situation in Brazil cannot be compared with a civil war, even though the number of deaths is similar.
"In a civil war, men and women and children and old folks die alike," she observed. In her opinion, what is going on is a private war.
"Here the war isn’t among social or ethnic groups but among rival gangs and between them and the police."
The factors leading young people to dedicate their lives to crime, especially drug and arms trafficking, should also come under scrutiny, Zaluar argues.
That means taking into account not only the monetary rewards that attract people from poor financial circumstances.
The Brazilian and Uruguayan governments will take the first step today, May 19, to try to resolve mutual problems affecting children, adolescents, and their families, especially in the border region.
They will sign a protocol of intentions in which the two countries assume the commitment of exchanging experiences related to the formulation of programs, plans, and projects in the area of child and adolescent care.
The document will be signed on behalf of Brazil by the head of the Special Secretariat for Human Rights, minister Paulo Vannuchi, during a visit to the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.
Vannuchi has meetings scheduled with the Uruguayan minister of National Defense, Azucena Berrutti, and the presidential secretary, Gonzalo Fernandez.
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