2 Oct. 2018
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
On the morning of April 8, 12-year-old Eduarda Lopes watched as her mother, Valdilene da Silva, was shot by a stray bullet in Rio de Janeiro's Manguinhos slum, one of the countless innocent victims of rising gangland violence in the city. As she lay dying in a puddle of blood, Silva used her last breaths to tell her daughter to run and hide. But despite her fear of being killed, Lopes stayed with her mother. "I waited with her until the final moment, by her side," Lopes told Reuters, as tears streamed down her face. "I couldn't bear it," Lopes said, of when she got to see her mother's corpse later that day. "I saw her lying there and she looked like a doll, asleep. The only thing I could take with me were the earrings she was wearing." Brazil's violence is spiking and ever more victims are caught in the crossfire of gangs warring with each other or police. Rio de Janeiro state registered over 4,500 murders during the first eight months of 2018, up 6 percent compared with the same period in 2017. More than 1,000 people died in confrontations with police in the state between January and August, official data shows, up over 50 percent on the same period in 2017. Authorities say those killed are mostly suspected drug gang members, while critics allege innocent people are also slain. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "BECO DA SIRIA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. Matching text: BRAZIL-VIOLENCE/?