In the latest brutal prison massacre episode, the gang members have killed more than 30 prisoners and most of them were beheaded. Officials said on Sunday that the bloodshed started on Saturday night in the Alcacuz prison in the north-eastern state of Rio Grande do Norte.
In early January, the similar violence in other jails in Brazil left around 100 inmates dead. The state’s public safety manager, Caio Bezerra told a press conference “Twenty-six deaths have been verified.” He said earlier when the authorities gathered the bodies they had estimated around 30 bodies and body parts.
According to the officials, the members of two drug gangs clashed out violently after coming out different parts of the prison.
It is believed the riot was a clash between Brazil’s biggest drug gang, The First Capital Command (PCC) and its rival Red Command.
The state justice department said the prison is built for a maximum of 620 prisoners but now it is overcrowded with 1,083 inmates.
The experts say the violence is the result of a war of power between two gangs for taking control of one of the world’s most important cocaine markets and trafficking routes.
The biggest massacre left about 60 dead in the north-western city of Manaus. The genocide was targeted to the members of PCC. Dozens of prisoners are still missing.
Brazil has the world’s fourth-largest prison population after the US, China and Russia. According to a 2014 justice ministry report, Brazil’s jails hold 622,000 inmates, mostly young black men. The ministry found there is a need for 50% more capacity. Activists said overcrowding exacerbates is another problem.
After the two riots earlier this month, President Michel Temer announced the federal government would spend $250 million to build new prisons.
However, the human right activists have expressed their doubt whether building new prisons can solve the problem.
Sociologist Camila Nunes of the Federal University of ABC in Sao Paulo told AFP, “Brazil needs “medium- and long-term policies to reduce the vulnerability of certain social groups, to prioritize prevention rather than repression.”