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Violent deaths down in Brazil while killings by police rise

September 11, 2019
FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, a relative places his hand on the head of school shooting victim Caio Oliveira during a collective wake for those who died in Suzano, greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil. The Sao Paulo suburb buried its dead and looked for reasons why two masked former students of the Raul Brasil state school, armed with a hand gun, knives, axes and crossbows killed five teenagers and two adults at the school before killing themselves as police closed in. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, a relative places his hand on the head of school shooting victim Caio Oliveira during a collective wake for those who died in Suzano, greater Sao Paulo area, Brazil. The Sao Paulo suburb buried its dead and looked for reasons why two masked former students of the Raul Brasil state school, armed with a hand gun, knives, axes and crossbows killed five teenagers and two adults at the school before killing themselves as police closed in. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Researchers say there were 57,341 violent deaths in Brazil last year, a nearly 11% drop over the record number of people killed in 2017.

The nonprofit Brazilian Public Security Forum compiled the crime report and said it is difficult to explain the reduction. It says more analysis — and less political grandstanding — is needed in a country with one of the world’s highest homicide rates.

The report released this week also shows 6,220 people were killed in police operations in 2018, a nearly 20% increase over 2017. It says 343 police were killed last year, down 8% from 2017.

Some Brazilian groups are raising concerns about the increasing number of killings by police. But President Jair Bolsonaro wants to give police more powers to crack down on crime.

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