From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:
Three Brazilian military policemen shocked the world July 23 when they
machine-gunned 45 homeless children who were sleeping in front of the Candelaris Church
and Museum of Modern Art in the fashionable part of Rio de Janeiro, killing seven. So
great was the outrage that three days later the suspects were arrested. And that was the real
news. In 1992 alone, 424 children were killed in Rio de Janeiro––as many as half of them
by police, many of whom liken the murder of a street orphan to shooting a stray dog. As
the very first issue of ANIMAL PEOPLE reported, the killing has previously been done
with impunity. People trying to help the children and attempting to bring the police to jus-
tice have also been killed. Elsewhere in Brazil, and in other parts of Latin America, the
situation may be worse, but only Brazil keeps good statistics, recording the murders of
more than 1,000 children a year––mostly poor semi-orphans. In all, 700,000 Brazilian
children don’t live with their mothers, and 460,000 of them don’t live with either parent.
More than four million don’t go to school, and more than 10% of adolescents can’t read.