The one-month September siege at a Venezuelan prison has sparked a similar rival gang war in one of Brazil’s biggest prisons. 25 inmates have been reported dead, and a report from The Rio Times confirmed the riot occurred in Rorarima’s largest prison, adding that some of the dead prisoners were either burned or beheaded.
Image shows a police officer talking to the prisoners at Monte Cristo.
The war started between two rival gangs during visiting hours at the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo, in Boa Vista, in the Amazon-region state of Roraima.
A total of one hundred family members who were in the prison for their weekly visit, were taken hostage.
During the siege, one group broke the locks of their cell block and entered the rival cell block.
“Prisoners do not want to let the people who are there to leave for fear that police will enter the unit to end the conflict. It’s a very complex situation,” a military police officer was quoted as saying.
The police were able to calm the warring inmates after several hours of negotiation. Subsequently, the visitors were released.
A head count showed 25 prisoners had been murdered during the fight. Seven inmates were reportedly beheaded and six were burnt by rival gang members.
The Rio Times reported that a wife to one detainee was inside the prison at the time. She said: “Some of the inmates were armed with wooden clubs and makeshift knives.”
“There are many wounded,” said a police officer at the time. “When this occurred, the families began to run. There were many children inside to visit.”
During the early hours of Monday, October 17th, there were again reports of the start of another rebellion within the prison, but that was quickly controlled, according to local officials.