Police in Brazil are now searching for 77 inmates who escaped from jail during a riot. The escape happened at a jail in the state of Goias. Authorities have confirmed that nine prisoners were killed and 14 others suffered injuries during the riot.
The clashes began when a group of inmates entered a section of the jail controlled by a rival gang. Police stepped in to control the situation and found that 106 inmates had escaped. 29 of them were later captured by authorities.
According to reports, Brazil’s prison population has increased more than 160 percent in the last 17 years. The overcrowded prisons often see riots and escape attempts from the inmates. A lot of the jails are also controlled by gangs, who often fight to regain or keep control of the area.
Inmates Break Wall and Escape
The riot started in New Year’s Day and 106 inmates used that distraction to break a wall of the jail and escape. The violence began when one gang entered a section controlled by a rival gang. They began firing weapons and setting objects on fire. Riot police arrived to the jail and controlled the situation but they found out that the inmates had escaped.
After the riot, relatives stood outside the jail to get more information on the incident. According to the head of the prison wardens association, there were only five officers on duty at the time the riot began. He said that they were in charge of the 900 inmates. One family member of a prisoner told local media that authorities had not told them anything.
Brazil’s prison system has been a big problem for the country for years. Reports say around 3,000 inmates are added to the already overcrowded jails each month. In recent years, officials have proposed ideas to solve the problem, including reducing the delay of the process that is done before the people face a judge.
In January 2017, there were two prison riots in less than a week. The first one happened in Manaus and left at least 56 people dead and many others injured. Authorities said the riot lasted 17 hours. Five days later, another riot in the state of Roraima left more than 30 inmates dead. In the first riot, 126 inmates escaped the maximum security prison. The riots in the first three weeks of 2017 left more than 130 inmates dead. Overcrowding and drug operations between gangs have been blamed for the clashes in recent years.