Prisoners Riot and Hold Wardens Hostage At Guarapuava Jail in Brazil

By Delisa Morris

Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil — The riot that began at Guarapuava jail Monday, has dissipated today.  Most of the hostages were released with injuries, but no deaths have been reported.

 

Prisoners hang warden upside down during riot. / photo courtesy of dailymail.co

Monday, on their way to work at a construction site several prisoners overpowered guards.  The prisoners took 13 guards hostage and control of the prison.  Shortly after they were taken hostage three of the guards were freed.

Following a two-day standoff the other ten hostages were released.  A local official said the “rebellion” ended when prisoners demands to be transferred to other facilities was granted.

Initially, the prisoners had a long list of demands including: better food, treatment, conditions and the transfer of some prisoners to other penitentiaries.

For Brazil, jail riots seem to be as common as weekdays.  This is Brazil’s 21 prison riot this year.  Brazil has the world’s fourth largest prison, with 500,000 inmates held in prisons equipped to hold 300,000 people.

A spokesman for the Parana state’s justice secretary said 28 prisoners involved in the riot would be transferred from Guarapuava jail to other detention centres in the region.

News broadcast of the rebellion showed the inmates on the roof of the prison holding the guards, whom they had stripped of their clothes.  Prisoners were armed with knives and clubs beating some of the disrobed guards and fellow inmates atop a prison building roof.  At least six men were injured when they were thrown from the roof onto the ground below.  One report noted that guards were set on fire before being thrown from the roof.  At one point the prisoners tied up a warden by his feet and dangled him off the roof.

Prison riots in Brazil often turn extremely violent. Five people were killed in August in a riot in Cascavel prison also in Parana, two of them were decapitated.

Earlier this year the UN called for an investigation into the high number of violent deaths in Brazil’s prisons, after previous riots at a jail in the north left dozens of people dead.

For more information, please see: 

BBC News – Brazil prisoners end hostage drama at Guarapuava jail – 15 Oct. 2014

Aljazeera – Brazil Prison Guards Held Hostage by Inmates  – 14 Oct. 2014

Int’l Business Times – Rioting Brazilian Prisoners Set Fire to Guards and Throw Them From Rooftops – 14 Oct. 2014

dailymail.co.uk – Horrifying Moment Warden held hostage by inmates at Brazilian jail has his feet bound and is DANGLED from the roof of the prison – 15 Oct. 2014

 

Author: Delisa Morris

Delisa Morris is a Law Student and Master of Science Candidate in Public Relations at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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