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(1) Does violence in Rio
can be reduced?

Although Brazilians have somehow become used to the high level of violence existing in certain cities, such as Rio, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, the atrocious killing of a six-year old child a few weeks ago in Rio by a group of young people, including a minor among them, has shocked the whole country. As never before, the websites of the national newspapers have received thousands of messages from readers. Some suggested that the death penalty should be adopted immediately in Brazil. Others have argued that it is unacceptable that a minor, who commits such a brutal crime, cannot be judged like an adult. They questioned why Brazilians over sixteen are eligible to vote, but cannot be punished.

Governmental authorities, such as the President of the Republic and the President of the Supreme Court, have argued that stricter laws will not reduce criminality. Even though they might be right, a rapid analysis of the content of (2) these e-mails clearly demonstrates that the population feels hopeless. The general sensation is that people are prisoners at their own homes while criminals circulate freely in the city. People want something to be done urgently (3) so that this situation (4) change. Unfortunately, as (5) it occurred in the past, at the aftermath of every tragedy, authorities promptly say that the legislation will be modified, (6) but nothing is really done until another tragedy happens.

The inertia of political authorities concerning the rising (7) of violence may be attributed to many factors. One is probably (8) due to the enormous (9) divorce between the opposing views on measures to be taken to restrain violence. There are those who defend changes in the legislation. The inherent assumption is that tougher sanctions would rapidly reduce criminality. (10) By contrast, there are those who claim that violence is a complex problem (11) whose solution requires changes at different areas - education, police, legislation, and so on. Since these views (12) are very different from each other, there is no agreement about the best path to be taken in order to resolve the problem.

This lack of consensus should not, however, prevent authorities from acting. Urgent measures should be adopted at least to prevent criminality from worsening. In parallel, a series of other measures should be contemplated so that the situation improves (13) at the long term. Most importantly, the executive, legislative and legal authorities must prove to the whole society that violence is actually a (14) priority and that they are committed to combat it, regardless of their political differences. If political authorities do not commit themselves to seek solutions for the violence problem, they might be facing in the near future (15) a civil war.


(1) Correction: Use "Can violence in Rio be reduced?" instead of "Does violence in Rio can be reduced?"
(2) Suggestion only: What e-mails are you referring to ("these e-mails"). Delete" these."
(3) Suggestion only: Consider adding a comma after "urgently."
(4) Correction: Use "will change" instead of "change."
(5) Correction: Replace "it" with "has."
(6) Suggestion only: Consider breaking the last sentence into two sentences after "modified."
(7) Suggestion only: Delete "of."
(8) Suggestion only: Delete "due to."
(9) Suggestion only: Consider using "distance" or "separation" instead of "divorce."
(10) Correction: Use "In" instead of "By."
(11) Suggestion only: Use "that requires different solutions for different areas" instead of "whose solution requires changes at different areas."
(12) Suggestion only: Use "differ greatly from each other" instead of "are very different from each other."
(13) Suggestion only: Use "in" instead of "at."
(14) Suggestion only: Insert "government" before "priority."
(15) Suggestion only: Let "a civil war" follow "facing."

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