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Brazil Prison Riot Leaves At Least 56 Dead

Police say a gang rivalry at the Anísio Jobim prison complex led to the deadly riot.
Posted at 8:21 PM, Jan 02, 2017

At least 56 people died in a violent prison riot in Manaus, Brazil. And police are blaming the riot on a gang rivalry.

Inmates at the Anísio Jobim prison complex, or Compaj, started rioting Sunday after a fight broke out between rival drug gangs. At least 74 prisoners and 12 guards were taken hostage.

Authorities say the Familia do Norte gang was responsible for the majority of the killings, capturing and executing members of the rival First Capital Command gang, or P.C.C.

Police restored order after 17 hours but are still looking into reports of inmates escaping during the chaos.

Brazil's prison system is notoriously overcrowded, which critics say leads to violence. Compaj was designed to hold about 450 people, but when the riots started, it held over 1,200 inmates.

This is Brazil's deadliest prison riot since 1992, when violence at a São Paulo prison left 111 people dead.