At least 60 prisoners were killed in a gang incident in the Manaus prison in the northern Brazil state, Amazonas, two days ago.
According to Sergio Fontes, the Secretary of Public Safety of State Amazonas, this has been one of the worst prison massacres in the history of the whole state of Brazil. He also added that 100 prisoners escaped jail during the riots, which were caused by the battle of two narco gangs on New Year’s Day. Riots lasted 16 hours and most of the fugitives were caught.
It is believed that the riot began when one criminal gang attacked their rivals from Sao Paulo and the pact about no fighting between Brazil’s two biggest narco-syndicates broke down. Sao Paulo-based First Capital Command and the Red Command from Rio de Janeiro, seemed quiet for a long period of time and they were cooperating without any problems.
Now, this truce has come to an end. It fell apart because two syndicates couldn’t make a deal regarding their markets and about spreading the profit from cocaine trafficking in the Amazon region. This is a vital point for the gangs because it is at the crossroads of all the key drug paths from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia
It is no secret that narco-syndicates are fighting for power in most of Brazil’s prisons.
The situation in Brazil’s prisons is less than ideal. We often see that the cells are crowded with twice as many people than they are made for, and we also see that in some private jails, gang members have many privileges that a normal person in Brazil can’t afford.
In only a couple of prisons throughout the whole of Brazil, you have mobile phone blockers. Brazil currently has 622,000 inmates, which is the fourth country in the world for the amount of inmates in the system.
The only problem is that Brazil has prisons with room for half that number.
Poor conditions in Brazil’s penitentiary institutions mean that inmates are 28 times more likely to catch tuberculosis and twice as likely to get HIV, than a regular citizen.
At the moment Brazil can’t afford to invest in improving the standards because they are facing a recession and political instability.
That is why 24 out of 27 Brazilian states had some sort of prison riots or mutiny in the past 10 years. Several of the bodies were decapitated and thrown out from behind the prison walls
The Brazilian public fears that this incident may cause a street war throughout all of Brazil because these narco-syndicates has branches in all of the major cities.
The Brazilian Justice Minister Alexander Moraes and other government officials stated that there is no reason to fear because the Brazilian government will protect all of their citizens no matter what.
Many of the public experts in this field disagree with this statement and they are warning both government and Brazilian people to be alarmed. Within the criminal principles this action isn’t going to pass without an even worse response.