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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


ZALUAR, Alba; NORONHA, José C. de  and  ALBUQUERQUE, Ceres. Violence: poverty or institutional failure?. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, suppl.1, pp.S213-S217. ISSN 1678-4464.

The authors review mortality data by external causes from the Brazilian Ministry of Health from 1981 to 1989, a period in which national mortality statistics are available. Data from the various States, Metropolitan Areas, and State capitals are examined, particularly on homicide deaths. Comparisons are made with the distribution of poverty and migration rates. No association is found between these factors and homicide death rates. If relationships can be established with crimes against property there is no proof that either poverty or migratory movements may be related to crimes against life. The authors stress the role of organized crime and drugs and arms traffic as fundamental factors in structuring metropolitan criminality. This role is particularly accentuated when the fight against drugs is conducted in an exclusively repressive way and incorrect institutional and political decisions are made for facing urban poverty.

Keywords : Violence; Poverty; Criminality; Migration.

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