Forty-two inmates were killed at three different prisons in the capital of Brazil’s northern Amazonas state on Monday. The murders occurred just one day after 15 inmates died during fighting among prisoners at a fourth prison in the same city.
According to CBS, Amazonas state prison staff confirmed that all 42 prisoners found dead in Manaus on Monday showed signs of asphyxia. The latest inmate killings come two years after more than 120 inmates died in prison riots started by rival gang members at prisons in northern states. Many of those victims were decapitated or had their hearts and intestines ripped out.
It all started just before noon on Sunday when 15 inmates were killed during a riot at Manaus’ Anisio Jobim Prison Complex. Local authorities said prisoners began fighting among themselves and security was rushed in to regain control of the situation. However, it took them 45 minutes to do. This is also the same prison where 56 prisoners died in the 2017 prison riots.
Amazonas state Gov. Wilson Lima says there are several drug-trafficking and other criminal gangs in Brazil that maintain their illegal businesses from behind bars.
Brazil’s justice and public security ministry said it was sending a federal task force to help local officials handle the situation.
“I just spoke with (Justice) Minister Sergio Moro, who is already sending a prison intervention team to the State of Amazonas, so that he can help us in this moment of crisis and a problem that is national: the problem of prisons,” Amazonas state Gov. Wilson Lima said.
Press play below for more on this story.