The study, by the research group Brazilian Public Security Forum, said that there were 15,932 intentional homicides in 2014 in the country’s 26 state capitals and the federal capital Brasilia — the equivalent of about 1.81 murders an hour.
“The results paint an extremely worrying picture,” the group’s executive director, Samira Bueno, said, calling levels of violence are “higher than can be imagined.”
In 2013, the total number of murders in the country’s capitals was 15,804, according to the study.
Bueno said that in 2013, the national murder rate was 25.2 deaths for every 100,000, but rising to 33 in the 27 cities. That same level is expected to be calculated for 2014 when the still unfinished report is fully released.
The most violent city in the 2014 study was Fortaleza, capital of Ceara state in the impoverished northeast, where there were 1,989 killings and a rate of 77 murders for every 100,000 people.
The biggest city with a population of 11 million, São Paulo, had 1,360 murders, but a rate of just 11.4 per 100,000. In Rio de Janeiro, which hosts next year’s Olympics and has a population of about 6.3 million, there were 1,305 murders.