Murders of indigenous people in Brazil increase 22% in ten years

Study shows that the overall homicide rate in Brazil decreased 20% over the same period

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Fortaleza (CE) |
Protected by the Federal Constitution of 1988, indigenous people are the target of permanent attacks by economic groups interested in their territories. - Patrick Raynaud/Fotos Públicas

The percentage of indigenous people murdered in Brazil jumped 22% over the decade from 2009 to 2019. A total of 2,074 indigenous lives makes part of the statistic, released on Tuesday (31) by the Atlas of Violence 2021. The data about the indigenous population are unprecedented in the study, which is published every year and previously did not assess this group.

According to the survey, while the homicide rate rose among indigenous peoples, violent deaths decreased 20% in the same period when analyzing the general rate of homicides in the country. 

Experts claim that murders of indigenous people increased from 15 to 18.3 for every 100,000 inhabitants, while national figures for the general population show a decline from 27.2 to 21.7 for every 100,000 inhabitants in the same period. The data is collected from the Ministry of Health's Mortality Information System. 

Read more: 10 messages from indigenous peoples in Brazil to the world

 The Atlas is produced by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) in partnership with the Brazilian Public Security Forum (FBSP) and the Jones dos Santos Neves Institute (IJSN). This year's edition shows, for instance, that the years with the highest number of indigenous deaths were 2017 and 2018, with 247 and 240 records in the country. 

 It also points out that the states of Amazonas, Roraima, and Mato Grosso do Sul lead the murders ranking among these populations in terms of absolute numbers. Respectively, the three states registered 49, 41, and 39 murders. 

 The data comes to light at a moment in which Brazil is experiencing an increase in rural conflicts, driven by disputes over water, land, natural resources, and minerals. Ruralism, illegal logging, and mining are among the activities that lead to conflicts with indigenous people.

Edited by: Vivian Virissimo