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According to a recent UNICEF report, examined by The Hindu, the number of homicides of young males in Brazil is higher than warzones in Syria and Iraq.

"Homicide victims are mostly black boys who live on the outskirts of the major cities. They are out of school and come from low-income families," said the report.

Brazil is a culturally diverse country, with about 50% of the population defined as mixed. The racial divide is vast, and government officials mostly avoid the debate on racial inequality. But several studies in recent years have started looking at the role of race in murders β€” both criminal as well as by government forces.

One report, titled "Atlas of Violence," was recently published by the Institute of Applied Economic Research in Brazil shows that in the Rio Grande do Su, Brazil's southernmost state, bordering Argentina and Uruguay, has a population of 82% white population, but the number of black youth murdered nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017.

With limited economic opportunity, young black males in the country resort to gangs for stability. This has led to a surge in black killings by police, which has spiked in recent years, mostly in the name of "fighting crime."

Earlier this year, we reported how a rash of gang violence across the country forced President Jair Bolsonaro to crackdown on crime -- which includes military takeovers of Brazilian cities and shoot-to-kill orders carried out by teams of sharpshooters.

According to the State Institute of Public Security (ISP), Brazil's military police killed 1,544 people last year in Rio de Janeiro state.

"Summary executions are being carried out in favelas and other peripheral areas," said Renata Souza, a local politician. "It is a barbaric state policy that amounts to genocide."

President Bolsonaro has even threatened to make new laws that will enable police and civilians to "shoot suspected offenders" without concern of prosecution.

"These guys are going to die in the streets like cockroaches β€” and that's how it should be," he said in a recent interview. He told Brazil's police should be decorated for using rifles, not taken to courts.

In an interview, broadcasted on YouTube on August 05, Bolsonaro said if congress passed his changes to the criminal code, it would see criminals gunned down in droves.

The only way to reduce Brazil's violent crime is to provide "legal cover" to police officers so they can kill suspects, he added.

With murders surging across 14 states, and high rates of young blacks murdered, The Hindu warned: "the last thing Brazil needs is an out-of-control police force. But that may just become legal."

And if you didn't think The Purge, a movie where murder is legal for 12 hours, could've come true, well, think again in Brazil.