Four prisoners were killed, with two of them decapitated, while two guards were taken hostage when riot erupted inside a jail in southern Brazil on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported.
About 60 percent of the jail was still under the control of the inmates, and officials had cut water and electricity to the facility, the report said, adding that negotiations to resolve the standoff were to resume on Monday.
The inmates were seeking better facilities at the Cascavel state correctional center in the southern city of Parana that currently holds 1,140 prisoners, state judicial spokesman Elson Faxina was quoted as saying.
But Faxina said the riot could also be linked to a fight between drug trafficking factions. “The fact that prisoners took hostages would reinforce that view,” he said.
A prison workers union said in a statement the facility was not regularly maintained because of lack of funding.
“The prisoners say the food is bad, there are no lawyers to work their trials, no basic hygiene materials, few correctional officers,” the statement said.
Some 548,000 people are staying in various prisons across Brazil, and facilities for 207,000 people are needed to prevent overcrowding, according to Conectas, an organization specializing in inmate rights.
– Contact us at [email protected]