Gun violence worst in USA, Brazil

Gun deaths

By Aimee Cunningham, 3:30pm, August 28, 2018:

The United States and Brazil top the list of nations with the most gun deaths

The first global analysis of firearm-related deaths tallies homicides, suicides and accidents

Gun deaths occur worldwide, but a new survey reveals the hot spots for those that occur outside of war zones.

In 2016, firearm-related homicides, suicides and accidental deaths were concentrated in just six countries: the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala. Those nations accounted for about half of the estimated number of gun deaths unrelated to armed conflict.

That’s just one takeaway from the first look at the global impact of interpersonal and self-inflicted gun violence on public health, published online August 28 in JAMA. Here’s the big picture:

Total global gun deaths rose from 1990 to 2016

Worldwide, an estimated 251,000 people died from guns due to homicide, suicide or unintentional injury in 2016. That’s up from an estimated 209,000 such firearm deaths in 1990, the team found by analyzing data from 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016.

In 2016, 64 percent of gun-related deaths were homicides, 27 percent were suicides and 9 percent were accidental deaths.

… Globally, for every year studied save one, gun deaths due to homicide, suicide and unintentional injury exceeded those due to conflict and terrorism. The exception: 1994, the year of the Rwandan genocide.

The United States and Brazil are hot spots of gun violence

These two countries accounted for 32 percent of the total number of estimated deaths in 2016.  …

Suicide rates have risen across the United States since 1999 (SN: 7/7/18, p. 13). Previous research has shown that having guns in the house is linked to higher use of the weapons to commit suicide and to a larger number of unintentional gun-related deaths.

USA: In 2015, toddlers [playing with their parents’ guns] shot and killed more Americans than terrorists: here.

Brazilian soldiers’ bloodbath of slum dwellers

This 14 May 2018 video says about itself:

In Brazil, a soldier killed a civilian on Saturday evening in a favela in the north of Rio de Janeiro. It is the first victim killed by the army since the military intervention in Rio decreed by President Michel Temer last February.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

14 people killed in military operations in Rio slums

AT LEAST 14 people were killed in Rio de Janeiro on Monday as thousands of troops poured into the densely populated Alemao and Mare favelas during military operations.

Brazil’s army confirmed that 4,200 soldiers entered the slums and were backed by armoured vehicles and aircraft.

The military said that eight people were killed in the operation, admitting that “there may be more”, but no details were given on how they were killed or why.

Soldiers dismantled roadblocks they claimed had been set up by “drug gangs” …

“Troops distributed leaflets asking for co-operation from the population”, a military statement said.

Right-wing President Michel Temer, who came to power in an administrative coup after the ousting of Dilma Rouseff, introduced emergency measures just over six months ago which saw the military take control of police forces in Rio de Janeiro.

But since the move, which was criticised by civil society groups as a step towards a return to Brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964-1985, both murders and the numbers killed during police confrontations have risen.

In 2017 there were almost 64,000 homicides in Brazil and the increased levels of violence have become a key issue for October’s presidential elections.

In March, eight people were killed during a similar military operation in the Rocinha favela amid allegations of a revenge attack following the killing of a police officer.

The operation followed just 11 days after the shooting of Rio councillor Marielle Franco, who was a vocal critic of Rio de Janeiro’s police forces killing innocent civilians.

According to government statistics, 1,115 people were killed as a result of “opposition to police intervention” in Rio state.

Human rights activists warned that the deployment of soldiers marked a worrying development.

Observatory of the Intervention spokeswoman Silvia Ramos said: “We think this is very serious. If there is confirmation that the dead were executed by officers of the armed forces, it would be a troubling change.

“The armed forces cannot enter this logic of useless confrontations and unacceptable killings that are the hallmark of the Rio police.”

MILITARY guards shot a left-wing parliamentary candidate at point-blank range yesterday as he was leafleting in the city of Curitiba. Renato Almeida Freita of the Workers Party (PT) was wounded after being shot with rubber bullets by guards who demanded he leave the Sao Francisco district, where he was campaigning for next month’s parliamentary vote. He explained that he was in the area distributing pamphlets lawfully as a candidate for the Brazilian parliament, but the guards opened fire at close range, causing injuries to his hand and back, before arresting Mr Freita and taking him into custody: here.

Brazilian military killing civilians

This video says about itself:

14 May 2018

In Brazil, a soldier killed a civilian on Saturday evening in a favela in the north of Rio de Janeiro.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Riots in Rio after civilian shot dead by military

RIOTS took place in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night after a civilian was shot in a military operation, with human rights organisations calling for an end to the killings.

A man was shot dead after he allegedly refused to stop his motorbike at a military roadblock in the north of the city, according to an army report.

His death sparked riots in Villa Militar, with buses torched and clashes with Brazilian security services.

Rio has been under military control since February after President Michel Temer’s right-wing coup administration ordered the army to move in to supposedly curb violence.

However, human rights groups and charities say that more than 200 civilians have been killed between February 16 and April 15, with two left-wing politicians among the dead, including activist Marielle Franco.

Mr Temer has been accused of targeting the poor and Brazil’s black community, with ousted former President Dilma Rouseff saying the military intervention was designed to create an enemy.

“In Brazil’s case, it is poor black people who live in periphery neighbourhoods … It’s not white people who live in Ipanema nor in Leblon”, she said.

With Lula behind bars, Brazilian democracy is still at stake: here.

Brazil’s flip-flopping over Lula’s release sparks protests: here.

FORMER US Democrat presidential nominee Bernie Sanders has sent a letter signed by 29 US politicians to Brazil’s ambassador in Washington demanding the release from jail of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The letter denounces the “highly questionable and politicised” sentencing of Lula, saying it was based on “unproven accusations”: here.

BRAZIL GENERAL EYES COUP An army general and far-right vice presidential candidate in Brazil has suggested that a military coup could be justified during a period of “anarchy.” [HuffPost]

Penguin saved in Brazil, comes back to thank saviour

This video, recorded in Brazil, says about itself:

1 December 2017

This is a story about Jinjing the South American Magellanic Penguin, that swims 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

The rescued penguin was saved by João Pereira de Souza, a 73-year-old part-time fisherman, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Joao found the tiny penguin at his local beach lying on rocks, it was covered in oil, could barely move and was close to death.

Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin‘s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named the penguin Jinjing.

Every year the penguin leaves to the breeding grounds and then returns to Joao.