Brazilian prison riot that left 5 dead ends

AP News
Posted: Aug 26, 2014 1:30 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — A two-day prison uprising in southern Brazil that left five inmates dead ended Tuesday as officials met demands to transfer many of the prisoners.

Two inmates were beheaded during the riot and three others were thrown to their deaths from the prison roof.

Mara de Carli, a press officer of the Justice Secretariat of Parana state, said the uprising that began Sunday at the Cascavel penitentiary ended early Tuesday morning with the transfer of some 800 inmates to other prison facilities — the main demand of the inmates.

De Carli said two prison guards held hostage were released with non-life-threatening injuries which were treated in a local hospital.

At least 600 inmates took part in the rebellion. she said.

During the riot prisoners set some objects on fire and used metal bars to damage the prison that housed more than 1,000 inmates at the time.

Dozens of prisoners climbed onto the building's rooftop, with their faces covered with white fabric. Local media images showed at least 30 rebellious inmates shouting while they beat men held with ropes around their necks, or whose hands were tied behind them. The rioting inmates waved banners emblazoned with "PCC," the initials for the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Command, the country's largest and most feared organized crime group.

Critics have said that authorities have lost control over the more than 550,000 inmates in the country's more than 1,200 prisons. Jailbreaks are routine and prison uprisings happen with frequency. Top drug gang leaders maintain their grip on power in the slums across the nation from behind bars.

Hold The Damn Vote Already
Derek Hunter

Prison authorities in Brazil acknowledge that overcrowding is a serious problem, frequently leading to riots and violence.

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said in 2012 that: "We have a medieval prison system, which not only violates human rights, it does not allow for the most important element of a penal sanction, which is social reintegration."