Brazilian prison rebellion leaves 13 dead and 30 injured
Rio de Janeiro
Thursday 10 October 2013
A prison rebellion in São Luis, in the north-eastern state of Maranhão, Brazil, has left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.
Rioting between rival gangs held in the 600-inmate jail, Complexo Penitenciario de Pedrinhas, broke out on Wednesday evening after prisoners refused to allow an inspection of their cells by wardens, starting a confrontation with officers, according to Késsio Rabelo, from the Department of Justice and Corrections.
The stand-off sparked violent clashes between opposing prison factions. The situation rapidly spiralled out of control with executions of inmates occurring throughout the institution.
“The uprising began after wardens discovered that 60 prisoners were digging a tunnel through which they intended to escape,” said Aluísio Mendes, Secretary of Public Security in Maranhão. “When prison officials tried to access the block, the prisoners rebelled.”
Rioters set fire to the prison blocks and barricaded themselves in. Special elite “Choque” troops were sent in to contain the situation. Pistols, homemade bombs and other lethal weapons were found inside the cells.
A representative from the Commission on Human Rights for Brazil’s legal profession, Diogo Cabral, who was present as an observer at the scene said: “I am very shocked at what happened. If the Choque troops had been dispatched earlier maybe the barbarism and the death toll could have been avoided.”
Relatives and onlookers outside the prison reacted angrily by throwing stones in an attempt to break into the prison. Seven buses in the city centre were also set on fire by a marauding gang in retaliation and the hospital where the injured were taken had to be manned by extra police after threats were made to invade the complex.
An earlier outbreak of gang violence on Tuesday left three prisoners dead at the same prison. One was decapitated. Two other inmates and one prison guard were wounded. The mutiny ended the same day with the arrival of the elite troops.
In a statement, a local government spokesman said this week’s arrest of 39 members of one of the largest gangs in the municipality had fuelled the unrest.
- 2 Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...