Shooting from helicopters, armoured personnel carriers or at close range, police officers in Rio de Janeiro gunned down 558 people during the first four months of the year — the highest number in this period since the state began keeping records more than two decades ago.

This recent spike comes after years in which the federal and local authorities put in place policies that significantly diminished police killings. But as the country dove into a deep economic and political crisis in 2014, resources for security programs dried up. Criminal gangs reclaimed lost territory in Rio, and across Brazil violence exploded:

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