26 inmates die in latest Brazil prison riot

27 inmates were killed in a Brazilian prison riot that broke out on Saturday, increasing the number of prison killings in the country this year to more than 120.

26 inmates die in latest Brazil prison riot

27 inmates were killed in a Brazilian prison riot that broke out on Saturday, increasing the number of prison killings in the country this year to more than 120.

The riot began around 5 p.m. on Saturday at the State Penitentiary of Alcaçuz, 13 miles from Natal, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, and continued until around 7 a.m. on Sunday, when riot police officers took control of the prison.

Decapitations and mutilations are common in Brazil’s violent, overcrowded prisons, in which 40% of inmates have yet to be sentenced, but the latest wave of brutality has appalled many in the country.


Members of a drug gang started the clash by invading a pavilion in the Alcaçuz prison that housed rivals, officials with Rio Grande do Norte state said in a Sunday news conference in the city of Natal.

Police surrounded the prison overnight, but waited until noon to enter because of reports that inmates remained armed and out of their cells.

Brazil’s deadliest jail uprisings in decades have exposed growing turf wars between São Paulo-based gang Primeiro Comando da Capital, or PCC, and the Rio de Janeiro-based Comando Vermelho that risk plunging a chaotic penitentiary system deeper into violence.

Their split, which is thought to have happened last year, has unleashed a war with state prisons as their epicenter. The Rio gang has teamed up with five fellow groups around Brazil to counter the PCC’s growing might.

The last time that Brazil witnessed such a long span of drug-related violence was in May 2006, when the PCC unleashed attacks across the state of São Paulo.