Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
NUNES, Mônica and PAIM, Jairnilson Silva. An ethno-epidemiological study on urban violence in Salvador, Bahia State, Brazil: summary executions as an object of study. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.2, pp. 459-468. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000200012.
The present study, including an epidemiological and anthropological approach, highlighted the social meanings involved in the comparison of mortality rates from homicide in a neighborhood in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, during two periods: 1988-1994 and 1994-2000. The ethnographic study showed that from 1988 to 1991, many neighborhood residents had been assassinated and numerous individuals labeled as delinquents had been "wiped out" (through summary executions), thus accounting for the proportional increase in mortality from external causes evidenced in the epidemiological study. The succeeding periods correspond to a decrease in mortality rates which (as evidenced by fieldwork) coincided with a "lull" immediately afterwards. However, in the latter half of the 1990s a new increase in mortality rates was observed in the area, even though residents described the neighborhood as peaceful. This study conducts a hermeneutic of violence in this neighborhood, especially focusing on summary executions, underlying the social dynamic present in each time period.
Keywords : Violence; Mortality; Anthropology; Ethnology.