According to data published by a public security organization on August 9, Brazil suffered a record number of murders in 2017. Homicide rose by 3.7 percent from 2016 rates, with 63,380 homicides reported in 2017 nationwide. The increase in violence was driven largely by Brazil's poor northern states, where criminal groups are engaged in turf wars. The highest murder rates were recorded in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte and the western state of Acre. Despite the increase on a national level, murder rates decreased from 2016 in 14 of Brazil's 26 states.
Due to high crime rates throughout Brazil, 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 and never enter favelas (slum neighborhoods). Note that criminals are often armed (never offer resistance in the event of a mugging).