Brazil jail violence: Forty inmates found dead at separate prisons
At least 40 inmates have been found dead at separate prisons in northern Brazil a day after 15 prisoners were killed in gang clashes, officials say.
The latest deaths, which were reported in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, all appeared to be the result of asphyxiation, authorities said.
They added that staff had discovered the victims during routine inspections at four different prison facilities.
A task force has been sent to “control the disturbances,” officials said.
Several other inmates were injured in Monday’s incidents, according to Brazil’s Globo news website (in Portuguese).
The majority of the victims were discovered at the Antônio Trindade institute near Manaus, while deaths were also reported at the Puraquequara and Provisional Detention Centre facilities in Amazonas state.
The local governor, Wilson Lima, described the situation on Monday as a “crisis”.
He added that an investigation launched on Sunday would be extended to include the latest deaths.
On Sunday, clashes reportedly broke out during visiting hours at Anísio Jobim Penitentiary Complex in the region.
Officials said the prisoners had been stabbed with sharpened toothbrushes and strangled to death.
The violence over the weekend was witnessed by visitors.
“Everyone start to run at the doors and running down the corridors.”
It comes two years after revenge killed 56 at the same jail, one of the deadliest riots ever in a Brazilian prison.
Brazil has the wordlist third-largest prison population – 712,305 prisoners in April this year, according to official figures.
The population is double in the capacity of Brazil’s prisons. The overcrowding has led to gang violence, riots and sometimes breakout attempts.
In early 2017, several violent revolts left 119 people dead in jails in northern Brazil.
About 92 inmates also escaped last September after heavily armed men set off explosives outside a prison and shot their way inside, killing a policeman.
Previous this year, terrorist gangs started around 80 attacks on public buildings, banks, buses and petrol stations etc. many place of them believed to have been carried out in retaliation for the proposed reforms.