More than 50 inmates killed in Brazil prison riot

Orient Net - FOX NEWS 2017-01-03 08:02:00

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An attack by members of one crime gang on rival inmates touched off a riot at a prison in the northern state of Amazonas, leaving at least 56 dead, including several who were beheaded or dismembered in the worst bloodshed at a Brazilian prison since 1992.

Authorities said the riot that raged from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning grew out of a fight between two of the country’s biggest crime gangs over control of prisons and drug routes in northern Brazil.

In a separate incident Monday evening, four inmates were killed at another Amazonas prison. Police were investigating whether there was a connection between the mass killings at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex and the later ones at Unidade Prisional do Puraquequara.

Amazonas authorities initially reported 60 dead in the Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, but the state public security secretary’s office later reduced that figure to 56. Officials also said 112 inmates escaped during the riot.

There were 1,224 inmates in the prison, which was built to hold 592, Amazonas state public security’s office said. The prison is run by a private company that is paid according to the number of inmates.

Twelve prison guards were held hostage by the inmates during the riot, though none was injured.

"This is the biggest prison massacre in our state’s history," Public Security Secretary Sergio Fontes said at a news conference. "What happened here is another chapter of the war that narcos are waging on this country and it shows that this problem cannot be tackled only by state governments."

Fontes confirmed that many of the dead had been beheaded. Judge Luis Carlos Valois, who negotiated the end of the riot with inmates, said he saw many bodies that had been quartered.

"I never saw anything like that in my life. All those bodies, the blood," Valois wrote on Facebook.

It was the largest death toll during a Brazilian prison riot since the killing of 111 inmates by police officers in the Carandiru penitentiary in Sao Paulo in 1992. Police said they acted in self-defense then.

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