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Brazil : a mutiny in a prison made 56 dead

Slaughter rule, the detainees decapitated and the balance sheet is extremely heavy : a mutiny resulted in 56 dead in a prison in Manaus (northern Brazil) in the night of Sunday to Monday, a bloodbath caused by the war between criminal factions. “For the moment, we have counted 56 dead,” said the secretary of penitentiary Administration of the State of Amazonas Pedro Florencio, during a press conference. The mutiny, during which 12 guards were taken hostage, lasted 17 hours between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in the prison complex, Anisio Jobim (Compaj), located in the outskirts of Manaus. “It is the biggest massacre committed in a prison in the Amazon region”, stressed the secretary of the State of Amazonia to the public Safety Sergio Fontes at this press conference, stating that”a large number of prisoners have been beheaded”. “The prisoners were killed by other inmates, during the bout of extreme violence that have lasted for more than fifteen hours”, according to the public security organ.

In October, another mutiny had already been 33 deaths in two prisons in the amazon region, in the States of Rondonia, frontier with Bolivia, and Roraima, which borders with Venezuela. In Manaus, the settling of scores between drug traffickers imprisoned have taken an unprecedented scale since the massacre of Carandiru, which has 111 people dead in 1992, in Sao Paulo. “We have managed to put an end to the mutiny, and to preserve the lives of the hostages,” said Pedro Florencio. Before intervention, the local authorities are patrolling already places, to the research of dozens of prisoners escaped. Organ of public security has informed theAgence France-Presse that 40 fugitives on a total of 87 had been captured.

Identification of the dead

Many members of the families of the prisoners have gathered in front of the prison, in the early hours of Monday, but authorities still have not revealed the identity of the victims. Photos circulating on social networks, and taken either by inmates or by police officers after the massacre show scenes unbearable carnage. We see dozens of bodies piled up, most of them without a head, which, according to the authorities, makes more difficult the identification of the dead. “We live in a silent war of drug trafficking and the State must intervene. The factions fight among themselves to earn more money, it is a fight for territory,” warned Sergio Fontes. The mutinies are common in overcrowded prisons in Brazil, which are controlled in-house by these criminal factions. “This is a war between factions takes place throughout the country, in all the prison units,” confirmed Pedro Florencio, who spoke of a “revenge” of the local group FDN (Familia do Norte) against the PCC (First commando of the capital), based in Sao Paulo.

“The problem starts with the overcrowding in prisons”, reminded the Agency France Presse, Marco Fuchs, counsel to the association for the defence of human rights Conectas, specializing in the defense of the detainees. “When we put in the same correctional unit inmates from rival factions, the State does not control absolutely not what is happening. The organized crime is in control”. With 622 000 inmates identified by the department of Justice at the end of 2014, Brazil has the fourth prison population in the world, behind the United States, China and Russia. To cope with the pressure prison, the country is expected to increase by 50% the capacity of its prisons, according to a report from the ministry. At the national level, the occupancy rate is 167%, 1,67 held by available space, a figure that rises to 2.59 in the Amazon, which included 8 868 held in 2014.

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