A significant increase in shootings has been reported in Rio de Janeiro over the past seven months since the start of a federal military intervention in the city. On September 16, representatives from Fogo Cruzado, an app that allows residents to report gunfire, announced that more than 5800 incidents have been reported in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area since the security operations began in February. This represents almost a 50 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2017, when 3600 incidents were reported. According to Fogo Cruzado the most shootings occurred in the city of Rio de Janeiro, followed by São Gonçalo and Belford Roxo.
Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro state, rising steadily since 2016, reached all-time highs in 2017, and again in 2018. A total of 6732 homicides were reported statewide in 2017. The violence is largely attributed to fighting between heavily armed security forces and criminal gangs in favelas. Federal forces have been in command of security in the state of Rio de Janeiro since February 2018, and are expected to remain in control until at least the end of the year. According to one study, violent deaths have increased by 80 percent since the beginning of the military intervention.
Due to high crime rates in Rio de Janeiro - and throughout Brazil more generally - individuals should remain vigilant at all times, report any suspicious behavior to relevant authorities, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves. Note that criminals are often armed and never offer resistance in the event of a mugging.
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