A report on violence in Brazil says around 42,000 people were shot dead in 2012 – the highest figures for gun crime in 35 years. The study, by the UN and the government on the most recent available data, said almost all the deaths were murders.
More than half of those killed were young men under the age of 30 – two-thirds were described as black.
The Brazilian Congress is debating a controversial bill that would limit access to firearms.
Gun crime murders have been dropping in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo but rising in the north and northeast of the country.
The northern state of Alagoas is the most violent, with fifty-five gun deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants.
The report says a slow justice system and flawed police investigations as well as the widespread availability of firearms are to blame.
It says Brazil has become a society which tolerates guns to resolve “all sorts of disputes, in most cases for very banal and circumstantial reasons.”
A law to ban the carrying of guns in public and control illegal ownership came into effect in 2004.
It tightened rules on gun permits and create a national firearms register, with strict penalties for owning an unregistered gun.
The epidemic of suicides among improbably flexible teenage boys armed with undetectable firearms continues. In all cases, the boys were in the backs of police cruisers… A Durham teen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Wednesday afternoon at a news conference.
Police Claim That Yet Another Teen Handcuffed In Back of Cruiser Shot Himself In the Head
Lopez held a 3 p.m. news conference and started by extending condolences to the family of Jesus Huerta, who died in a police cruiser in November. Huerta was 17.
He said the noise heard by the officer was a gunshot, and said it was a gunshot wound to the head.
Lopez said a handgun was found in the car and that Huerta was still handcuffed from behind. He said the wound was self-inflicted.
“The medical examiner’s office has confirmed that Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound to his head,” Lopez said. “Whether that wound was accidental or intentional is unknown at this time.”
Lopez said Huerta was searched, and police are not sure where how he had the weapon.
“I know that it is hard for people not in law enforcement to understand how someone could be capable of shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back,” Lopez said. “While incidents like this are not common, they unfortunately have happened in other jurisdictions in the past.”
MODESTO, Calif. — Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a man by a Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy who was responding to reports of a family dispute. Sheriff’s officials say the deputy went to the home in the town of Keyes on Monday afternoon. Sgt. Anthony Bejaran says the deputy first used a Taser on 32-year-old George Ramirez Jr. and called for backup. Moments later, the deputy reported that he fired shots. Ramirez’s family told KCRA-TV that he was severely depressed and that they urged the deputy not to hurt him. George Ramirez Sr. says the deputy refused to listen and shot his son three times after he staggered back to his feet from the Tasering. Sheriff’s officials declined comment on the family’s claims pending the investigation.