Increases in violent crime and its relationship to migration in Minas Gerais in the late 1990s

Alexandre M.A. Diniz, PUCMINAS

Presently, violent crime is one of the most debated themes in Brazil. Its incidence has reached alarming rates, depleting the quality of life in urban centers, and promoting gigantic economic losses. Despite its ubiquity, the specific causes of urban crime are still uncertain. Social science has presented numerous hypotheses and theories on violent crime; among them is the notion that crime is associated with in-migration. According to this hypothesis, intense in-migration atomizes social structures, weakening social cohesion at destination, promoting cultural clashes between in-migrant and native groups. This study explores the interrelation between violent crime and intra and inter state migration rates among the municípios of Minas Gerais State in the late 1990s, from a geographical perspective. The results reveal specific spatial distributions for all types of crime under scrutiny, and a positive relationship between in-migration rates and robbery and armed robbery, but no relationships with homicide and rape.

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Presented in Poster Session 5