Several killed in Brazil jail violence | News | DW | 27.05.2019
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Several killed in Brazil jail violence

Clashes between rival inmates in a prison in northwestern Brazil have killed more than a dozen people. The jail was the same one where 56 people died in a rebellion in 2017.

At least 15 prisoners died in fighting at a jail in Brazil's Amazonas state on Sunday, local media and officials said, in an incident highlighting problems of overcrowding and gang violence in the country's prisons.

The clashes broke out during morning visiting hours at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex, some 28 kilometers (17 miles) from the state capital, Manaus.

Some of the prisoners had been stabbed with sharpened toothbrushes, while others had been strangled, Colonel Marcos Vinicius Almeida told a news conference, saying it was the first time deaths had occurred while visits were taking place.

He said an investigation had begun into the causes of the fighting, which was ended by military police.

Inmates' relatives praying outside the prison

Relatives of inmates prayed outside the prison after the deadly riot

Prison plight

The same prison was the scene of a prison rebellion in January 2017 in which 56 people died in clashes between groups of inmates.

Brazil's penitentiaries are severely overcrowded, with the country having the world's third-largest prison population — one that is double the capacity of the available facilities. This regularly leads to riots and breakout attempts.

In one such incident in April last year, guards and prisoners aided by accomplices outside the prison clashed in a military-style battle at a prison in Belem, near the Amazon rainforest. Twenty-one people were killed, including one policeman. During the violence, attackers tried to blow up a wall to facilitate an escape.

Watch video 04:53

A Brazilian pulls himself out of crime

tj/msh (AFP, dpa)

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