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Inmates Had Rifle and Explosives in Northern Brazil Prison

04/12/2018 - 12h04

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ROGÉRIO PAGNAN
BRUNO SANTOS
SPECIAL ENVOYS TO BELÉM

The attempted mass breakout from a prison in greater Belém, in the Brazilian state of Pará, which ended with 21 people killed on Tuesday afternoon, April 10, had inmates armed with a rifle and explosives.

Folha verified that the plan had been organized by the inmates for at least two months; however, prison security teams had not noticed anything unusual. Mainly for that reason, the police officers who clashed with the inmates worked watching the facility's walls.

An explosion inside the prison complex of Santa Izabel do Pará signaled the actions, which was supported by criminals outside, also armed with rifles. Of the 21 people killed, 15 were inmates, five were criminals working to rescue the fugitives and one was a prison agent - four other agents were injured, reportedly in critical conditions.

Antonio Cicero/Photo Press/Folhapress
The Penitentiary Recovery Center of Pará, in Santa Izabel Complex
The Penitentiary Recovery Center of Pará, in Santa Izabel Complex

There is no confirmation yet on how the prison agent was killed. The penitentiary management agency of Pará says he died amid a gunfight. The police department says they are investigating the case as well as the circumstances that led to the deaths of the inmates and the criminals outside the facility. The department is also investigating whether prison agents helped to smuggle the guns and explosives the inmates used into the prison.

The state of Pará is currently undergoing a public security crisis. This week, in a five-hour period, 12 people were murdered in greater Belém.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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