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RIO DE JANEIRO – Violence in Rio de Janeiro state has increased in the two months since the military was put in charge of the state's security forces amid a spike in violent crime, Brazilian researchers said Thursday.
A report by the Intervention Observatory of Rio's Candido Mendes University said 1,299 shootouts occurred in the two months leading up to the military takeover of the state's public security operations in mid-February. Over the next two months, the number of shootouts rose to 1,502, it said.
The report said the number of killings with more than two victims also increased. Six such incidents with a total of 12 deaths happened in March-April of 2017. During the same months this year, 52 people were killed in 12 multiple-victim shootings.
"When we compare what happened in Rio de Janeiro during the first two months of intervention with the situation preceding that .... we see that security and crime remain at the same high level as before, or worse," Intervention Observatory coordinator Silvia Ramos said.
"The feeling of insecurity remains high, the shootings in the last two months increased and there were the multiplication of massacres (multiple-victim killings), some of which were caused by the police," she added.