|RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 8, 2018 -- Some 4,440 people were admitted to public hospitals with firearm injuries here in 2017, the equivalent of one person being shot every two hours, local TV station GloboNews said Tuesday.
According to a study published by the station, the figures, including those from the hospitals administrated by the state and municipal governments, show a 32.9-percent rise from the average registered in 2014. In the state-owned hospitals, an average 6.7 people were admitted with firearm injuries every day in 2017.
In the first 15 days of 2018, violence in Rio increased even more, with an average 6.9 people per day with firearm-related injuries admitted to the hospitals administrated by Rio state.
For the past few years, Rio has been immersed in constant violence, with drug gangs gaining ground and fighting for territory as residents can only try to protect themselves and navigate the conflict.
Innocents are often caught in the crossfire. During the weekend, nine people were murdered in Rio's metro area.
Local policemen are killed frequently. Last year, over 130 were murdered, and in the first month of 2018, 10 officers were killed.
Drug gangs are well-armed and employ youngsters from poor neighborhoods.
Though federal and state authorities met in January to define a coordinated plan to fight organized crime, no concrete action has been taken so far.