elite police brazil
© REUTERS/Bruno DomingosArmed police in Brazil
A public safety group in Brazil has said that the country's police force killed more than 11,000 people in five years up to 2013 - the equivalent of six deaths a day.

The UN-recognised Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, an NGO based in Sao Paulo, said that the US figures from 2009 represented a similar number to those killed in the US - which has a much greater population - for the past 30 years.

The statistics come a week after a militia reportedly linked to the police went on a bloody rampage, gunning down 10 civilians in the northern city of Belรฉm.

That massacre followed the killing of a police hour earlier on Tuesday, thought to be linked to the so-called "militia".

The issue of police "executing" suspects was a major and regular occurrence, according to Bruno Paes Manso of the University of Sao Paulo's Centre for the Study on Violence. He called it "a practice rarely investigated".

It is worrying news for a country that is just over a year away from hosting the 2016 Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro state, where the Olympic host city is located, was singled out as having the highest per-capita rate of police killings in the whole country, after 416 people died in police violence last year.

The report said it reflected empirical evidence "that Brazilian police make abusive use of lethal force to respond to crime and violence".

Aside from police violence, the study also revealed that 50,806 were killed in all forms of homicide in Brazil last year - the equivalent of one every 10 minutes. Nearly 70 per cent were black and more than half aged 15 to 29.

That figure is a little under 100 times greater than the one for England and Wales, where the ONS says there were 551 murders in 2012/13.