O Corpo Cai No Chão



Victor Cardoso, Staff Writer

“Bala perdida” is a common phrase in Brazil, which means stray bullet. It’s when someone shoots a gun and the bullet flies and does not hit the desired target.

In Brazil, many people die from stray bullets. Gun violence in the country of Brazil is a serious problem and it affects all citizens whether they are innocent, guilty. The gun epidemic in Brazil is not getting any better, as gangs and firearms possess an iron grip over some of Brazil’s poorest communities.

Even with tough legislation on firearms, this does not prevent Brazil’s gun epidemic from getting any worse. With a mixture of poor law enforcement and lack of proper legislation, people who commit crimes such as murders stay on the streets. Is there no hope for Brazilian citizens in poor communities. Of course, in order to achieve change, then action must be taken.

A majority of Brazil’s gun epidemic takes place in favelas, which are extremely poor and neglected communities, with homes stacked on top of each other and with governmental neglect and crime. Favelas possess several issues such as: poverty, crime, gang violence, lack of educational support, poor transportation, lack of health care, governmental neglect and proper housing.

One of Brazil’s largest favelas is called Rocinha. Almost 70,000 (2010 census) people live in Rocinha. Many favelas in Brazil are in states like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

“Repression should never be welcome, it should never be okay,” said Gabriel Valdir a citizen of Brazil. “In my mind, when I think about guns, the distribution of guns never go to good people. They are either given to corrupt official/police officers, drug traffickers or used to kill another human being. The problem is due to poor law enforcement which allows the people that shouldn’t have guns to have them.”

Brazil is considered one of the most dangerous countries to live in. In 2012, Brazil experienced approximately 56,337 murders, and in 2014, Brazil experienced almost 60,000 murders. The majority of the murders are not carried out by assault rifles, but by handguns. Handguns account for 90% of all murders in Brazil, while only 5% are due to assault rifles and the remaining percentage with other weapons. In the year 2012, 42,416 murders were committed with handguns. Gun violence is also increasing in Brazil, since the 1980’s, gun violence has increased 387% and in the year of 2013, by 5%. Brazil also is responsible for 10% of all murders in the world. Every 10 people shot, one of them is Brazilian.

While much of Brazil experiences a gun epidemic, the Brazilian government has taken little action to attempt to solve the problem. Despite such, Brazil has strict gun laws currently. A citizen must fulfill or reach a series of requirements to have a gun. Requirements are as such: a fixed address, legitimate income, no criminal record, perform a mental health test, proof of knowing how a use a gun, and evidence of the necessity of the gun.

But the problem lies, is that Brazil’s gun epidemic is not caused by legally obtained guns but by illegally obtained guns. Even though many of the guns in Brazil are made in Brazil, guns can be tracked from several different countries in Latin America.

Gabriel Valdir also stated, “One of the contributing factors to the problem of guns is that people don’t understand that what they’re doing will impact others. They don’t understand that what they’re doing has weight and they just shoot”.

According to Gabriel Valdir, the best solutions that can occur to help the gun problem is to increase the proficiency of law enforcement. To get guns off the street and out of the hands of gangs. He also stated, that people need to have a conscience. If they were educated and knew what they were doing, then the problem could be drastically reduced.

Until a solution is put into a action, people will continue to die. People of Brazil face some many problems, that people die in line for basic health care, but if this gun problem doesn’t get fixed by implementing better law enforcement and providing education then even more people will die by the hands of criminals.

Let us hope the gravestone doesn’t read: Brazil 1822-2017.