The use of lethal force by law enforcement officers raises serious human rights concerns, including in regards to the right to life. Brazil is the country with the highest number of homicides in the world: 56,000 people were killed in 2012. Negative stereotypes associated with the youth, especially black young men living in the favelas and other marginalized areas, have contributed to the trivialization of violence. In 2012 over 50% of homicide victims were aged between 15 and 29, and 77% were black.
The police have regularly justified the use of lethal force by alleging their involvement in criminal gangs. These large-scale militarized operations have resulted in a high death toll at the hands of the police.
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Photo: Activists And Community Members Demonstrate Against Police Killings, Mario Tama/Getty Images