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Homeless murder rate soars

 Aurora da Rua (Brazil) 21 February 2019

In 2010, atrocities and violence have marked the lives of the homeless. Throughout the year, 62 homeless people were murdered in various Brazilian states. Little progress has been made in the police investigations for most of these cases. The present circumstances reveal the country’s indifference towards people with no home. (614 Words) - By Iris Queiroz


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In Alagoas alone there were 32 victims. The assassinations correspond to 10 percent of homeless persons living in Maceió, according to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).  But the bloodshed doesn't stop there. This year, in January, three more murders have already been registered. The Civil Police of the area affirms that 61.5 percent of the cases have been clarified and seven of the suspects are in prison. For the Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic's Presidency, the investigations must go on until the origin of the massacre is found. In an interview with the Alagoas Gazette, Minister Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi stated: "I cannot judge prematurely, but I would like to say that the number of deaths in Maceió is too high for us to end with these first conclusions. We will take another look." Meanwhile, when the night falls in the capital of Alagoas, the homeless hide in order to evade death.

The year 2010 was marked a massacre. On the 16th of January, four homeless people were assassinated with point-blank shots in the head while they slept in a residential neighborhood in Salvador. The neighbors suspect that the crime was a social cleansing meant to sanitize the area. Ten days after the event, in the city center, yet another victim was murdered. So far, no progress has been made in the investigations. Three months later, it was São Paulo's turn to be the target of violence against the homeless population. Six people were shot beneath an overpass, in the city's northern zone, by four men who fled after the shooting. Five of the victims died at the scene. Only one survived. According to the Military Police, the crime is related to a setting of accounts linked to drugs.

Already, in Espírito Santo, the murders of 16 homeless people have been recorded in 2010. This number represents nearly 16 percent of homicides in the state capital. The latest victim was a woman attacked by two armed men. One of them was a security guard who was arrested. According to the police, the accused does not know how to explain his crime. The violence has also reached Rio de Janeiro. Three homeless people died charred beneath an overpass, following a fire in the location where they slept. The victims were not identified and the origin of the accident remains unknown.

Apart from the difficulties of ensuring their survival, the homeless also need to dodge violence. This past November, in Maceió, 300 people took part in a march organized by Law students in solidarity with the homeless.  For the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Bar Association of Brazil in Alagoas, Gilberto Irineu, we must draw the attention of the authorities and take up public policies that address the needs of this group.

"We have to wake up for the rights of this population to be carried out," he concludes.

Violence against the homeless in 2010 (Time line)

January 16: 4 people are shot dead


January 26: 1 person is killed in traffic lights


May 11: 6 people are shot beneath an overpass

São Paulo-SP

June 13: the last victim, of a total of 16, is murdered

Vitória- ES

October 25: 3 people die by burning

Rio de Janeiro- RJ

November 15: After 31 killings, the last victim of the year dies

Maceió- AL

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Originally published by Aurora da Rua ©

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