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Brazilian Prisoners End Five-Day Prison Uprising, BBC Reports

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Inmates at a Brazilian prison ended a five-day rebellion, in which at least nine people died, after authorities agreed to most of the convicts' demands, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, citing unidentified officials.

The state security secretary, who wasn't identified, said the governor of the Urso Branco jail in Porto Velho will be replaced and as many as 30 prisoners will be transferred elsewhere to ease overcrowding, the BBC said on its Web site.

About 170 prison visitors held hostage by inmates will be freed, the BBC said. Revenge killings started along with the rebellion, with parts of two prisoners' bodies thrown out of the jail, it said.

The prison in the northwestern state of Rondonia, built for 360, now houses more than 1,000 people, the BBC said. Jail riots and killings are common in Brazil, in part because of overcrowding, it said. (BBC 4-23)

Deadly Brazilian Prison Rebellion Ends
PORTO VELHO, Brazil - Inmates ended a rebellion that left nine people dead at an overcrowded Brazilian prison on Thursday, after authorities agreed to improve conditions.

During the height of the five-day takeover, rioters carried out revenge killings in which at least one victim was decapitated and another hacked to death, officials said.

Seven other inmates died and scores of visitors were prevented from leaving during the uprising at Urso Branco State Prison in state capital of Porto Velho, some 1,500 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city. The rioters indicated late Thursday that they agreed to authorities' terms by hanging a banner inside the prison that read, "End of the Rebellion."

The rebellion was sparked be a clash between rival gangs on Sunday. As the fighting mushroomed, about 1,000 inmates quickly assumed control of the prison, which was built to hold 350.

Rondonia state public security chief Paulo Moraes said authorities agreed to replace the prison director, give prisoners the right to visits from their children, provide more recreation space and give inmates more frequent dental care. After the agreement was reached, about 170 people trapped inside mostly female visitors left the prison grounds in buses. Most initially stayed voluntarily after the uprising began, but Moraes said that he considered them hostages. Police also destroyed three tunnels dug by inmates, averting what was described as a mass escape attempt. Eight prisoners "wanting no part of the uprising" warned police of the tunnels, said Luiz Fernando Martins of the State Public Security Bureau.

Brazil's prisons are notorious for overcrowding and poor conditions.

Since November 2000, a total of 67 inmates have been killed in prison gang clashes at Urso Branco, according to Fabianny Castro de Andrade of the Roman Catholic Church's Justice and Peace Commission.

She said that 60 percent of the prison's inmates were thrown into jail on drug trafficking charges. The uprising should serve as "an alert, not only in Rondonia, but in the whole country, that the prison system needs to be reviewed," Moraes said.

Some Flee, Others Eat Cats in Prison Riot
Fri Apr 23,11:35 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo! RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) - Prisoners jumped from the walls of a Brazilian prison to escape an uprising in which inmates have butchered their foes, severed their heads and brandished them from the walls.

At least nine prisoners have been killed in five days of unrest at the Urso Branco (White Bear) prison in Rondonia state. Hungry prisoners have been reduced to hunting for cats to eat, a police spokesman said Thursday. No breakthrough has been made in negotiations between the authorities and uprising leaders, who took over the prison on Sunday in a protest against overcrowding. Riots are common in Brazil's prisons but this one has been particularly brutal. On Monday, rebel inmates threw the mutilated corpses of rivals from the walls around the prison. They decapitated two of the dead men and hung their heads from the wall. The inmates also strung up three dead bodies by their feet as horrified relatives waiting outside watched.

The spokesman said five inmates had jumped from a 23-foot-high wall and run to police for protection, fearing they would be killed. Local media said they told police at least three more corpses were inside the prison, which would raise the death toll to 12. The inmates' main demand of replacing the prison director has been met but there was no sign of an end to the uprising.

Electricity and water at the prison have been turned off and food is short. "They are hunting cats inside, but there are not too many of them around to feed on," the police spokesman said.

The prison was built for 360 inmates but houses more than 1,000. The Organization of American States' human rights watchdog criticized the Brazilian government for not protecting the prisoners in the Amazon jail, which was the scene of a massacre in 2002 in which 27 inmates were killed in gang fighting.

Prison riot toll climbs to 14, some decapitated
Friday, April 23, 2004 Posted: 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) -- Police found five mutilated bodies, some with their heads chopped off, when officers entered a Brazilian prison on Friday after inmates ended a bloody uprising.

The discovery brought the death toll to 14 in the five-day uprising that ended on Thursday after authorities met the prisoners' demands of replacing the prison director and expanding the overcrowded facility.

"Some had no heads, others were mutilated," said Renato Eduardo dos Santos, deputy security secretary in the Amazon state of Rondonia. He did not provide more specific details.

The inmates took control of the prison on Sunday and threw the mutilated corpses of some of their murdered victims from the prison walls early in the uprising, shocking relatives watching from outside. They had also brandished the heads of two of the dead men from the walls. "We will have to refurbish the prison as they destroyed everything," Dos Santos said. "That will take 30 or 40 days."

The inmates will be kept under special guard until the reforms were concluded. The Urso Branco, or "White Bear" prison, was built for 360 inmates but houses more than 1,000 prisoners. It was the scene of an earlier riot in 2002 when 27 inmates died.

Five found dead in Brazil prison


Inmates began eating cats
after days without food supplies
Police regaining control of a Brazilian prison after a brutal uprising have found five more mutilated bodies.

A total of 14 inmates were killed by fellow prisoners in the five-day revolt in the Urso Branco prison in the Amazon state of Rondonia. The rebellion ended on Thursday after authorities met the inmates' demands of replacing the prison director and expanding the overcrowded prison. The inmates released some 170 relatives who had been there since Sunday. They had arrived during visiting hours and stayed as human shields and later, as hostages, police said.

"This was a battle between two rival groups and they delayed negotiations to settle some scores," said state public security chief Paulo Moraes. But after days without food, water or electricity, the inmates were forced to eat cats to relieve their hunger, he said. "Police entered the prison in the early hours of Friday," said a Rondonia state military police spokesman.

"Calm has been restored. It's now a cleanup operation." A gruesome warning The rebellion will be remembered as one of the bloodier uprisings of recent times, says the BBC's Steve Kingstone in Rio de Janeiro. Inmates began a series of revenge killings in which at least one victim's head was cut off and thrown to the ground from the prison roof.

Another man was hacked to death and body parts were thrown out of the prison. As is often the case in Brazil, the revolt was about overcrowding, our correspondent says. Designed to hold 360 people, the prison in the state capital of Porto Velho houses more than 1,000 inmates.

State officials say this gruesome sequence of events should act as a warning that the country's penal system needs to be reviewed urgently.

Police find decapitated bodies in Brazil prison
23 Apr 2004 19:08:09 GMT RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, April 23 (Reuters) - Police found five mutilated bodies, some with their heads chopped off, when officers entered a Brazilian prison on Friday after inmates ended a bloody uprising.

The discovery brought the death toll to 14 in the five-day uprising that ended on Thursday after authorities met the prisoners' demands of replacing the prison director and expanding the overcrowded facility. "Some had no heads, others were mutilated," said Renato Eduardo dos Santos, deputy security secretary in the Amazon state of Rondonia. He did not provide more specific details.

The inmates took control of the prison on Sunday and threw the mutilated corpses of some of their murdered victims from the prison walls early in the uprising, shocking relatives watching from outside. They had also brandished the heads of two of the dead men from the walls. "We will have to refurbish the prison as they destroyed everything," Dos Santos said. "That will take 30 or 40 days."

The inmates will be kept under special guard until the reforms were concluded. The Urso Branco, or "White Bear" prison, was built for 360 inmates but houses more than 1,000 prisoners. It was the scene of an earlier riot in 2002 when 27 inmates died.

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All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff