Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brazil: Six die in prison riot

This year will mark the nineteenth anniversary of the Carandiru Penitentiary massacre where 111 inmates died in the overcrowded prison. The Brazilian government has enacted some reforms to the prison system since then while Carandiru was demolished in 2002 to make way for a public park. Unfortunately the same core problems continue in Brazilian prisons.

At least six inmates died late Monday night during a riot at a prison in the northeastern Maranhao state. According to the Brazilian press four of the victims were decapitated including a man imprisoned who killed his daughter after having had an incestuous affair with her.

The riot occurred in a jail built to house thirty inmates yet the facility held nearly 100 by the time clashes broke out.

Negotiations between the prisoners and police continued today with the inmates calling for the presence of a judge and prosecutor.

At nearly the same time as the riot in Maranhao a group of 79 inmates escaped from a prison in the southern Brazilian city of Florianopolis. Police have thus far captured approximately half of the escapees.

Image- Alamy via The Telegraph (“Prison riots are frequent in Brazil, where overcrowding of cells is common and gangs often run their wings.”)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Folha Online, globo.com, Voice of America

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