First gang war inside the prisons, now jailbreak; Brazil prison authorities face several crises since the start of the year. The authorities reported more than 150 prisoners have fled from a semi-open prison in the town of Bauru.
Later on Tuesday, military police managed to recapture 90 of them. The Brazilian police launched a search operation in Sao Paulo to find the remaining 62 prisoners.
Before they escaped from the Penitentiary Progression Centre, the prisoners set fire to one of the cellblocks. Though, the fire-fighters successfully put out the blaze.
The riot started after a prison guard took away a cell phone from an inmate. A source in the prison authority said, “The prisoners started a commotion and some took advantage of it to flee.”
The penitentiary department said that the situation is now under control.
At Brazil’s semi-open prisons, prisoners are allowed to leave for work and family visits. The Bauru prison isn’t fenced off as it was designed for ‘semi-open regime’ prisoners. 208 prisoners work outside of the prison while 423 prisoners work on the prison grounds.
The state prison administration stated that all prisoners involved in the riot will face fully closed regime sentences which mean from now on they will not be allowed to leave the prison under any circumstances.
This year the violence in the Brazil’s high-security prisons killed more than 130 prisoners. Many of them were beheaded by the fellow prisoners.
Authorities blamed the rival drug gangs for this unrest. Humanitarian groups claimed criminal gangs control the prisons in Brazil. They smuggle weapons and prohibited devices into the prison without any consequence.
Brazil has the world’s fourth largest prison population. But it suffers from widespread overcrowding.
The public news agency Agencia Brasil said the prison in Bauru is not overcrowded like the other prisons. It housing 1,427 inmates in a facility designed to hold 1,124 prisoners. The prison officials informed the inmates were rebelling against the “strict discipline” at the facility.