The number and social impact of street children in some countries is such that paramilitary and other vigilante forces, with or without the tacit support of the authorities, may set out deliberately to exterminate them as a form of "clean up" operation.
A 1992 study reported 4,611 children murdered on the streets of Brazil between 1988 and 1991. A 1993 study found an average of 2 Brazilian street children murdered every day that year. In one incident, a gunman opened fire on a group of children sleeping outside of a church in Rio, killing seven of them, aged between 8 and 15. In Colombia, with only a quarter of the population of Brazil, twice as many street children are killed each year. In 1993, city posters invited Columbian street children to their own funerals.