Brazil has historically had a significant problem with violence surrounding gangs, drug trafficking, theft, kidnapping and domestic violence. A recent study has shown that the homicide rate has increased by 3% from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, 63,880 people were killed throughout Brazil.

This is a homicide rate of 30.8 per 100,000 people. To put it in perspective, the United States’s murder rate in 2016 was 5.35 per 100,000. The U.S. hasn’t had a murder rate like Brazil since the 1700s, and even those numbers are skewed as healthcare standards were lower back then, making assaults less survivable as a whole.

Not only has the murder rate continued to climb, but sexual violence has been devastating the country as well. The country has notoriously bad analytics when it comes to sexual assault, but even the successfully reported sexual crimes have shown a significant increase. On top of that, the overall murder rate of women has also alarmingly increased 6.1%

Renato Sérgio de Lima, the director of the Brazilian Public Security Forum (where these statistics are coming from), told The Guardian that, “It is a devastating scenario … The numbers show we have a serious problem with lethal violence.” He also noted: “We have two persistent phenomena: violence against women and criminal gangs dealing in drugs and arms,” and the statistics seem to clearly reflect just that.

Elections are just around the corner, and these statistics will no doubt be a major talking point. Lotin said that, “There is an impunity about homicide crimes in Brazil,” and how politicians tackle that will be very relevant to their campaigns, as no doubt voters desperately want to see these violent crimes rates decline quickly.

A man protecting a girl and two other civilians try to reach safety during a shootout between police and drug traffickers at the Minera slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, April 17, 2007. Rio is one of the most violent cities in the world, with an annual homicide rate of about 50 per 100,000. | AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes
Brazil’s police officers take position during a raid at the Dona Marta slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007. Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil’s most violent cities with an annual homicide rate of around 50 per 100,000 residents. | AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes

Featured image: Rosilene Alves Ferreira and her husband mourn the death of their 13-year-old daughter Maria, who was killed by a stray bullet during a shootout between police and alleged drug traffickers, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, March 31, 2017, A video showing the confrontation between police and suspect drug traffickers was shared widely on social media and led to protests. In the video, two officers are seen carrying automatic rifles. They both shoot suspects on the ground. One of the men appears to be moving when he is shot. Rio de Janeiro police spokesman Ivan Blaz told reporters on Friday that the two officers have been charged with murder. | AP Photo/Leo Correa