Prison officials report that at least two inmates died in a deadly prison break which saw 28 of the inmates escape. The incident that happened in Brazil’s Piraquara State Penitentiary involved one prisoner apparently blasting through a prison wall and exchanging gunfire with police.
The prison in question is found in the Curitiba region of Southern Brazil, some 850km South West of Rio de Janeiro, reports CNN.
Everything was all quite when a loud bang was heard at around 5.30 am emanating from a penitentiary wall. The prisoners then attempted to escape through the hole, explained the department.
A quick response to the escape attempt was provided by the military police, the Special Police Operations Center, National Prison Department officers and National Prison Department officers.
As they were conducting a sweep, the police found two of the prisoners dead. Besides them lay 9mm Uzi machine gun, ballistic vest and a bag containing rounds of ammunition.
A tent in which the escapees sheltered after the prison break was also found during the sweep exercise.
During the escape, four men suspected of covering for the escapees took a woman hostage at a farm in Quatro Barras, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of the prison, reported CNN.
These four then surrendered upon the arrival of an elite military police at the scene.
They were found with three rifles and two pistols, which were confiscated and handed to the Special Police Operations Center.
This prison break happens barely a day after another deadly riot as Brazil’s prison system tries to stabilize. It is just two weeks in 2017 and Brazil has already witnessed 6 deadly prison upheavals.
- The start of the year saw 56 prisoners die at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex in Manaus. This is after riots, suspected to have been triggered by drug trade disagreements, broke out leaving men decapitated.
- On the 2nd of January, four inmates were murdered in cold blood at the Prison Unit of Puraquequara in Manaus.
- Four days later, other 33 inmates were killed at the the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo.
- The prisoners’ death strain cooled off for two days and then resumed on 8th at the Desembargador Raimundo Vidal Pessoa public jail in Manaus with four prisoners getting killed.
- The weekend then witnessed the death of 26 men at a riot at State Penitentiary of Alcaçuz, in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Norte state, as stated by a government tweet.
The country is currently working on a prison improvement plan announced by President Michel Temer and Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes.
The Justice ministry reported that Brazil has about 622,000 people behind bars, making its prison population the fourth-largest in the world.
Due to poor infrastructure and shortage of resources, many prisoners are usually crowded in small rooms. Just as an example, The Alcaçuz prison can only hold 620 inmates but currently is home to 1,083.