Brazil police 'commit murder'

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Brazilian military police were responsible for half the murders committed in Sao Paulo state last year, according to a report released yesterday by a human rights organisation, AFP reports from Sao Paulo. Police violence in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states has steadily increased in the past five years, according to the report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch. About 350 deaths in and around the city of Sao Paulo were blamed on military police in 1987; by last year, the number of deaths attributed to police was up to 1,470, more than half the 2,774 murders for the year in the city.