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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Disturbances Break Out at 2 Other Brazilian Prisons

RIO DE JANEIRO – One prisoner died and another 30 were injured in rebellions at two separate jails in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, a few hours after rioters at a penitentiary in Parana state ended the uprising that left five inmates dead and 25 injured, authorities said Tuesday.

The worst incident in Minas Gerais took place Monday night at the municipal jail of Campestre, where a group of inmates, in protest against a judge’s decision to close the facility and transfer them to other prisons, set fire to their mattresses and started a blaze that soon went out of control.

Eight of the inmates had to be taken to hospitals with serious burns while another died.

The other disturbances in Minas Gerais broke out at a detention facility in the city of Juiz de Fora, where 23 prisoners were injured in fights between rival gangs and in the prison guards’ operation to take back control of the jail before dawn Tuesday.

Prison officials announced the transferral to other prisons of 40 inmates who led the violence.

The two latest riots came soon after the prisoners who had been rioting since Sunday at Cascavel State Penitentiary in Parana state ended their uprising before dawn Tuesday, freed the two hostages they were holding and admitted the authorities.

That rebellion came to an end around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday after continuing for 45 hours and leaving five inmates dead including two who were beheaded, 25 injured and structural damage to at least 80 percent of the Cascavel correctional facility, the Parana Justice Department said.

The two guards held hostage since Sunday were released and had to be taken to hospital for various non-life-threatening injuries.

The rebellion ended after the authorities transferred 851 of the 1,040 prisoners from Cascavel to other jails with better living conditions.

Only 265 inmates remain at Cascavel.

Authorities have not yet revealed the causes of the death of the fifth fatality nor in what condition they found the body.

Around 600 of the 1,040 inmates at Cascavel took part in the rebellion to demand improved food and living conditions and an end to abuses by guards.

One of the two inmates beheaded by the rebels was a former police officer.

The mutinous inmates occupied the roof of the prison, where they set fire to mattresses and held up signs bearing the initials PCC, referring to the First Capital Command, the largest criminal outfit in the neighboring state of Sao Paulo.

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