A man holds a poster with a drawing representing the Brazilian councilor Marielle Franco in which it reads "Who killed Marielle?" during a symbolic protest that rejects her murder in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 20, 2018. Data released by the Brazilian Public Security Forum Thursday showed 63,880 people were murdered in 2017 including 4,539 murders of women. Photo by Marcelo Sayao/EPA
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The number of murders in Brazil increased by by 3 percent to a record high of 63,880 in 2017, according to data released by the Brazilian Public Security Forum Thursday.
The data showed that 175 people were murdered each day and an overall murder rate of 30.8 per 100,000 people, up from 29.9 in 2016.
An average of 14 people were killed in interactions with police, up 20 percent from 2016.
Rapes also increased by 8 percent to to 60,018 and murders of women rose 6.1 percent to 4,539.
"It is a devastating scenario," director of the Brazilian Public Security Forum Renato Sérgio de Lima told The Guardian. "The numbers show we have a serious problem with lethal violence."
Lima added most of the victims were young, black men and outdated laws and police procedures along with the rise of organized crime contributed to the increased murder rate.
In an attempt to combat the murders Brazil seized 119,484 firearms, 94.9 percent of which weren't registered in the federal police system.
Santa Catarina state police sergeant Elisandro Lotin said not enough murderers are imprisoned and police focus on repressing criminals rather than preventing violent crimes.
"There is an impunity about homicide crimes in Brazil," Lotin told The Guardian.
The forum's data showed there were 689,947 people in Brazil's penitentiary system and 39,516 in police custody.