Brazil's a big country, and some places are more violent than others. Take my home city of Brasília for instance. It's not a big city by any means, but it is the area with the highest income per capita in all of Brazil, surrounded by a number os 'satellite cities' that are poorer and violent, filled with people who migrate from the poorest areas of Brazil. Satellite cities get poorer and poorer, as there aren't jobs for everyone, and that undoubtedly feeds into the violence statistics. Rio de Janeiro is probably the city with most international exposure. Back when the slaves were freed they were "pushed" into the periphery, effectively marginalised, and formed the favelas or slums which are now cesspools of violence, run by crimelords and criminal factions.
Apparently, according to the statistics for the same period last year in Espírito Santo, there have been many more murders, although it seems most people who have been murdered are criminals themselves. They haven't released the real number of deaths yet.
Brazil sermed to have so much promise back in the days when the term "BRIC" (or "BRICK" if you include N. Korea - without the N) was coined, is that more "RIC" now I wonder? How much is due to the wide economic gulf between "classes", xSP? Or is it just something in the Bazilian "national personality"?
Since the 1960s or so, there has been a long-running slogan, that "Brazil is the country of the future." Some add "...and always will be", which is probably closer to the truth.
I think it's a little of both, the socieconomic gulf and "national personality". Some negative cultural personality traits can be exacerbated by hardship.