Brazilian prison authorities have reached a deal with inmates following a riot in which two inmates were decapitated.
According to Agence France-Presse, an agreement was signed late Monday between authorities and prisoners at the Cascavel city correctional facility. A representative from the state, Elson Faxina, said that two captured guards will be set free after prisoners are transferred to another facility.
Police are now gauging how much damage was incurred during the Brazil prison riot. At least four inmates are confirmed dead; two were decapitated while two others were thrown off the roofs of the cellblocks.
BBC News said the Brazil prison riot started Sunday morning, while the inmates were being served breakfast:
“The trouble broke out when warders delivering coffee to inmates were reportedly overpowered.As many as 1,000 prisoners then took over parts of the jail, ransacking and setting fire to much of it”.
Pictures taken during the riot show many inmates on the roof of the prison, wearing white fabric wrapped around their heads. Other disturbing images show inmates holding each other hostage; confining them with ropes and chains to keep them in line.
The president of the local prison guards’ union, Anthony Johnson, said tensions caused by overcrowding may have sparked the riot. He told AFP, “for us, the situation is tense now but we hope it is resolved. A jail of this kind needs investment”.
The union backed up Johnson’s assertion, releasing a formal statement:
“Many times the workers have to invest their money to buy the necessary items to do their jobs… Without investment, [prison guards] are always exposed to this. The prisoners claim that food is bad, that there are no lawyers to process things, minimal hygiene products don’t exist, there are few correctional officers. All the factors together are a tragedy waiting to happen”.
Old conflicts between rival gangs may have contributed to violence during the riot. According to the BBC’s Brazilian correspondent, gangs likely took advantage of the chaos to settle scores.
According to the National Post, rioting inmates used the violence to intimidate each other.
In one example provided by Jairo Ferreira, a lawyer for the prison guards’ union, “the inmates put the decapitated head of one victim on the lap of a custodian who was initially held hostage and later freed”.
A reported by The Inquisitr, Brazilian prisons are not known for the safety or security. Earlier this month, 13 inmates at a Rio Verde jail escaped by tunneling beneath prison walls.
According to the BBC, Brazil has the world’s fourth largest prison population, with half a million people behind bars.
[Image source: Agence France Presse]