EspañolA prison riot erupted in the southern Brazilian city of Cascavel on Sunday involving at least 700 of the 1,400 inmates in the penitentiary, according to police. Rioters have killed at least four inmates so far, decapitating two of them, and pushing the others from the roof of the building.
The prisoners involved in the riot have also taken at least two guards hostage, and injured several other fellow inmates. Miguel Llanela, a civilian police officer at the prison, said rioters have taken over more than 80 percent of the prison.
The riots began when prisoners overpowered warders delivering food. Between 700 and 1000 inmates are believed to be involved in the prison riot, setting fire and causing damage to the facility in protest of the jail’s conditions and problems with overcrowding.
“They are using the severed head of one of the prisoners to inflict psychological torture on one of the hostages,” declared Jairo Ferreira, lawyer for the prison guards’ union. Ferreira also told the news site CGN that inmates at one point placed the severed head of one of their victims on the lap of a custodian being held hostage as a way to torture him. The custodian was later set free.
The local media have shown images of prisoners holding their hostages on the roof of one of the buildings, beating them with ropes. Other images show inmates waving banners with the initials “PCC,” representing a prison gang formed in the 1990s.
Relatives of those in the Cascavel arrived Sunday evening and waited outside the facility to try and get information about their families.
“Negotiations resumed this [Monday] morning” Elson Faxina, a state judicial spokesman, told AFP. “Agreements are advancing and we hope that during the day the issue is resolved,” he said.