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Prison uprising ends in southern Brazil

October 15, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — A two-day uprising at a prison in southern Brazil ended Wednesday after authorities agreed to transfer some inmates to other facilities.

Elson Faxina, a spokesman for the Parana state justice secretariat, said the rebellion that began Monday at the Guarapuava prison ended when officials agreed to meet the prisoners’ “main demand” to move 28 inmates. Other demands for better food treatment and conditions were being analyzed, he said.

No one was killed during the uprising, he said. At least six men were injured, however, when they were thrown from a roof.

At the start of the uprising, inmates took 13 guards and seven prisoners hostage. Four guards were released Tuesday and the remaining hostages were released Wednesday, Faxina said.

Live television images broadcast Monday showed prisoners armed with knives and clubs beating some of the disrobed guards and fellow inmates atop a prison building roof.

Prison authorities in Brazil acknowledge that overcrowding is a serious problem, frequently leading to riots and violence.

In August, prisoners beheaded two fellow inmates during a rebellion at another facility in Parana state.

Critics have said that authorities have lost control over the more than 550,000 inmates in the country’s 1,200 prisons. Jailbreaks are routine and prison uprisings happen with frequency. Top drug gang leaders who are behind bars nevertheless maintain their grip on power in the slums across the nation.