Instinto de Vida mobilizes Brazil and Latin America


Instituto Igarapé - a think and do tank


Newsletter nº 4 – 2017

#InstintodeVida mobilizes Brazil and Latin America

Brazil is in the grips of a homicide epidemic. Close to 60,000 citizens were killed in 2015 – one in ten people murdered around the world each year. The figures are likely worse in 2016. New research assembled for the Instinto de Vida campaign indicate that roughly 50 million adult Brazilians know a family member, friend or acquaintance who’s been murdered.

These killer facts and much more were released during the national launch of the Instinto de Vida campaign in Rio de Janeiro. The Igarapé Institute is coordinating the regional and national advocacy agenda of the campaign, and is working with dozens of partners including the Brazilian Forum on Public Security, Sou da Paz Institute, Nossas, and the Observatório de Favelas. The headline goal is to get governments to commit to reducing homicide by 50% in the next 10 years.

A key mobilization platform for the campaign is a new digital tool called Vivos em Nós, or Live in Us. The website is advertized in a powerful new video developed by the campaign. The hope is to keep the memories of homicide victims alive and inspire civil society to action. Relatives and friends are encouraged to develop exclusive webpages with images, messages, and stories. Their tributes will inspire others to action.

The national campaign launch was livestreamed across Brazil. It generated more than 400,000 views and major media coverage in international and local television, print and radio news. At least 180 news stories were released on the national campaign and the results of the survey on attitudes toward homicidal violence. The campaign resulted in articles from the Associated Press, Agencia EFE, RT, O Globo, TV Globo, RTP, and Yahoo!News, among dozens of others. The Instinto de Vida campaign will be ratcheting-up activities in 2017 and 2018, so stay tuned!

Igarapé in numbers – April 2017

Digital rights in check

The Igarapé Institute launched a major new study – Brazil, the Internet, and the Digital Bill of Rights – in April. The paper sets out progress and pitfalls facing Brazil’s cyberspace. Developed by Igarapé’s fellow,Daniel Arnaudo, it examines the contradictions between Brazil’s “open” approach to the Internet, and the creeping influence of military and police institutions online. The paper was also released in a new digital format. The launch was live-streamed via Facebook and well-attended – more than 100 stories cited the study -, including by several top news outlets such asO Globo, Globonews, Agência Brasil, andJornal do Brasil, among others.


2016 in Review

Given how volatile 2017 is turning out to be, it’s easy to forget that 2016 was a turbulent year. There were considerable uncertainties that emerged on the global landscape, as well as in Brazil. The Igarapé Institute launched its 2016 Annual Report, highlighting the organization’s outputs and impacts. As in previous years, the Institute put all of its financial information online – a sign of our commitment to open data. The Institute is also delighted to announce the release of a new interactive web documentary with commentary from our research, development and management team about our results. We encourage everyone to check it out.

Igarapé Institute at TED

The Igarapé Institute was invited to TED 2017, making this the third year that the organization has been present. Robert Muggah was asked to speak about fragile cities and the role of data visualizations in driving change. He joined a range of speakers – which included Elon Musk, Serena Williams, Pope Francis, and many more. TED themes touched on the impacts of the automation revolution, the need for revolutionary and radical democratic action, and the perils of climate change and opportunities to disrupt emissions.


The Brazilian arms trade

Igarapé continued to push the envelope on mapping Brazil’s arms transfers around the world. The Institute published a widely read article in Nexo and with the Council on Foreign Relations adominishing Brazilian diplomats for marketing defense products to countries in fragile settings. The Institute uncovered info from Freedom of Information requests and is deepening its assessments of grey market transactions. The Institute’s perspectives on the conflict in Syria and global arms sales was featured on a new YouTube channel, reaching a wide audience.

Keep an eye out for

  • Igarapé’s executive director Ilona Szabó is taking part in board meetings of the Drug Policy Alliance in New York City from 30 May to 2 June. She will be also meeting with key strategic partners in the UN and the media.
  • Robert Muggah will participate in the Chicago Forum on Global Cities in Chicago (USA), from the 7-9 June. The Igarapé Institute’s research director will speak about the fragility of cities. He is leading a “flash talk” with Igarapé Institute advisory board member Misha Glenny. He will also be convening a meeting of the Global Parliament of Mayors.
  • Researcher Katherine Aguirre is speaking at a major UNODC and UNHabitat event in New York on the future of urban security and city fragility. She will be there from 28-30 May.
  • Robert Muggah is also set to speak at the Smart City Expo LatAm from 27-29 June. There he is invited to discuss the role of urban fragility and resilience in the twenty first century.
  • Researchers Maiara Folly and Maria Beatriz Bonna will participate in Debating Security Plus, from 6-8 June.
  • Fellow Daniel Arnaudo will be discussing the future of cyber security in Brazil at an international security conference at Copacabana Fort on 14 June in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Researcher Renata Avelar will participate in the Third Academic Conference on International Mediation, which will be held from 17-19 July in Rio de Janeiro.


A dear friend and colleague, Dr. Benjamin Barber, passed away on 24 April 2017. Dr. Barber was a renowned political theorist and a tireless city advocate, the founder of the Global Parliament of Mayors and a close friend of the Igarapé Institute. The Institute prepared a short tribute in the TED Blog.

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