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A Year After Massacres, Precarious Conditions Continue at Brazilian Penitentiaries

01/11/2018 - 11h07



Penitentiary systems extremely overcrowded, criminal factions, precarious infrastructure, mass escapes and deaths. One year after the series of massacres and confrontations that resulted in the deaths of 126 prisoners being held, the states of Amazonas, Roraima and Rio Grande do Norte continue far from any resolution of their major penal system problems.

Not even the lauded working group set up by Justice Cármen Lúcia (President of the Federal Supreme Court) as an emergency response after the infamous massacre of 2017 has been able to change the prognosis for prisons in the country.

This week, for example, the Supreme Court Justice herself, due to alleged security issues, had to cancel a planned visit to the Aparecida de Goiânia Penitentiary Complex, where a rebellion at the turn of the year had previously resulted in 9 deaths and 14 wounded.

"We still need to comply with the Imperial Constitution, which says that overcrowding is inadmissible, that prisoners have to be separated by [type of] crime", declared Judge Luis Carlos Valois, of the Penal Compliance Court of Manaus. "It is difficult to speak of the evolution of a system that doesn't even provide for the basics of one adequate space for each prisoner", he concluded.

Valois participated in the negotiations involving the return to government control at Compai (Anísio Jobim Penitentiary Complex) where 59 prisoners were killed during New Year's 2017 - the largest massacre of prisoners since Carandiru in 1992.


In the city of Boa Vista, the Agrícola de Monte Cristo Penitentiary was the stage for the third largest massacre of prisoners in the country - 33 dead on January the 6th, 2017, 4 days following the massacre in Manaus.

Precarious conditions prevail. On December the 14th, 2017, the prisoners at Monte Cristo staged a rebellion after they had gone without receiving food. During the resulting turmoil, a prisoner was killed by hanging.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Marlene Bergamo - 03.mar.17/Folhapress
At the Anísio Jobim Penitentiary Complex 59 prisoners were killed during New Year's 2017
At the Anísio Jobim Penitentiary Complex 59 prisoners were killed during New Year's 2017

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