BRAZIL: 57 Dead in Prison Riot

A deadly prison riot in Brazil has left 57 inmates dead, 16 of whom were decapitated.

Rival gangs clashed in the Altamira prison and set fires inside so that prison officers were unable to get in to stop them. Two prison staffers were held hostage but eventually released. Officials say the gangs were settling a score and inmates used makeshift knives to attack each other.

Overcrowding in Brazil’s prisons has become a major problem and often leads to riots. In May, clashes at four different prisons resulted in 60 inmates being killed. (NBC News)

Hot Takes:

  • These riots are often started by rival gang members.
  • Brazilian prison riots are also extremely violent. Two years ago, 120 inmates died in a riot in which victims were decapitated.
  • Soldiers needed to be called in to regain control of the prisons