Protecting lives from gun violence
The goal of this project is to expand a community-driven open data platform and reduce the impact of armed violence to build a more just society.
Rio de Janeiro has one of the highest incidences of shootings in the world. In certain parts of the city, drug gangs, police, and armed militias roam the streets while ordinary citizens normalise gun violence’s grave consequences. Yet news reports do not tell the same story that residents know to be true. Instead, the authorities double down on an unwinnable war on drugs policy, distort official figures by discounting stray bullets - balas perdidas - and remain resistant to change course.
But things are changing at a community level thanks to Cecília Olliveira’s work with Fogo Cruzado. She is building an open data platform that empowers citizens and helps them avoid shooting hotspots in real-time; not only saving lives but using accurate data to shift thinking at all levels of Brazilian society. Currently, Cecília’s work is confined to Rio de Janeiro and Recife. Her fellowship is an opportunity to test whether this life-saving project can replicate in new communities and change the narrative - and policy - around gun violence in Brazil and Latin America.
Armed violence is Brazil’s most fundamental issue. Ending it seems impossible. But Cecília has a profound understanding of the communities most affected by shootings and has already demonstrated Fogo Cruzado’s power to create change at a local level under actively hostile circumstances.
Cecília is the ideal person to drive this idea forward and create a deeper level of sense-making in academia, a new narrative for journalists, and an urgency for authorities to change policy. The open aspect of this project is also intriguing. Can Fogo Cruzado be replicated, not just in new locations but in other contexts where accurate, open data can help society flourish?
Cecília’s work focuses on: