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60 reportedly killed, inmates beheaded in Brazil prison riot

January 3, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
60 reportedly killed, inmates beheaded in Brazil prison riot

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Rampaging inmates during a Brazil prison riot dismembered and brutally attacked their rivals, killing at least 60 people, when a dispute erupted between two prison gangs in the Amazon region.

The 17-hour disturbance broke out on Sunday and lasted through the night at a prison outside of Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, according to Sergio Fontes, the state public security secretary.

He referred to the prison riot as “the biggest massacre” ever committed at a detention center in the area — and it stands among the most deadly of numerous prison riots across Latin America that have transpired over the past decade, the AFP News Agency reported.

Relatives of inmates gathered at the main gate of the prison asking for information [Marcio Silva/AFP]

Bloodied and burnt bodies were stacked in a prison yard and were piled in carts, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.

Outside of the facility, heavily armed police pursued dozens of inmates who fled through a range of tunnels found at the Anisio Jobim penitentiary complex.

Fontes said 16 tunnels were found and 87 prisoners escaped in total.

It has been reported that forty have been recaptured so far.

Concerned relatives meanwhile waited outside of the prison for news of their loved ones. Law enforcement officials have not yet published the identities of those who were killed.

Authorities finally restored order at the penitentiary on Monday and released 12 guards who were taken captive, Fontes said.

Upon entering the facility, authorities discovered the carnage that took place inside.

“Many were decapitated, and they all suffered a lot of violence,” Fontes said at a news conference.

Family member of an inmate has to be consoled outside the facility

He said the grisly scene seemed to be aimed at sending a message from the Family of the North (FDN), a dominant local gang, to rivals from the First Capital Command (PCC), one of Brazil’s most extensive gangs based is in Sao Paulo.

This event was the most recent explosion of horrific violence to hit Brazil’s underfunded and overcrowded penitentiaries.

In October, violent riots erupted at three prisons blamed on fighting between members of Brazil’s two biggest gangs, the Red Command and the PCC.

During that incident, rioting prisoners took guests hostage, beheaded rivals, and incinerated others alive — a total of 33 people were brutally executed.

Brazil’s prisons are often under the control of drug organizations, whose turf wars on the outside are also fought inside as well.

“There is a silent war on trafficking, and the state needs to intervene,” Fontes added. “What did we see? One faction fighting another because each wants more money. The fight is for money and space.”

Human rights activists have long opposed the terrible conditions in Brazilian prisons.

“The problem starts with overcrowding,” said Marcos Fuchs, an activist. “When you put inmates from rival factions in the same unit, the state has no control over what happens inside.

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