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The Brazilian presidios, an anthology of violence that does not yield

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Andressa Anholete – | Brazil has the third largest prison population in the world: 726,712 inmates, according to the latest official data from June 2016

Dozens of prisoners are piled up in the corridor of a Brazilian prison, forming an extensive line that ends at a table served neatly with 146 lines of cocaine. One by one, the prisoners inhale them in the midst of a festive and ostentatious atmosphere.

These images recorded with the cell phone of an inmate and published on social networks are part of an amazing anthology of videos released in the first days of 2018, shortly after the murder of nine prisoners in a prison in Goias (center) that returned to remove in light of the lack of control of the penitentiary system in Brazil.

The riot broke out on January 1, exactly one year after the massacre of 56 inmates in a prison in Manaus, which inaugurated a year watered by corpses in prisons.

Brazil has the third largest prison population in the world: 726,712 inmates, according to the latest official data of June 2016. With anachronistic and overcrowded buildings, low budget and half of the detainees without firm conviction, the State was losing control of the criminals at the hands of drug trafficking factions.

Marcos Fuchs, director of the NGO Conectas, dedicated to ensuring human rights, estimates that 75% of detention centers are managed by organized crime.

“Since the State does not take care of the prisoners, it does not stop for its health and places more people per unit than it should, it lost control, and when one loses control another one appears in parallel,” he told AFP.

“There are no body scanners or trained officials, there is corruption and tolerance with cell phones, alcohol and drugs, the consequence is those images made by the prisoners themselves so that Brazil can see them,” he added.

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann acknowledged the vacuum of authority.

And he knows of what he speaks. In 2017, the army seized 10,882 weapons in 31 prisons that housed 22,910 inmates. One every two prisoners.

“Half of the prison population is armed, it is an incomprehensible absurdity that maximizes massacres and violence,” he said.

During these searches, in which safety equipment of the Olympic Games Rio-2016 was used, almost 2,000 cellular and narcotics were found in abundance.

– (Insecurity –

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Andressa Anholete – | With anachronistic and overcrowded buildings, low budget and half of the detainees without firm conviction, the State was losing control of the penalties at the hands of drug trafficking factions

The massacres of 2017 left more than 100 prisoners dead in a war fought inside the presidios throughout the country by drug gangs Primer Comando de la Capital (PCC), originally from Sao Paulo, and Comando Vermelho, from Rio.

2018 also started blood staining.

The nine inmates assassinated in Goias agitated the fear of another frenzy of violence, but the crisis was put down after three rebellions.

During the riot 243 prisoners escaped and the president of the supreme court, Cármen Lúcia, had to cancel her visit to the prison last Monday because they could not guarantee her safety.

The display of images circulating on the internet includes parties with alcohol and drugs in broad daylight, shocking records of homicides and escapes, such as filmed in Luziania prison, Goias, in which two men pull the bars of a fence open a space through which ten detainees flee.

For Julio Waiselfiz, coordinator of the program of studies on violence of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, the problem exceeds the prison walls.

“Nothing indicates that the problems are going to end, there will be new uprisings and massacres, inside and outside the prisons, because the security crisis is not exclusive to the presidios,” he said.

Brazil registered 61,619 homicides in 2016, according to the Brazilian Forum of Public Security. The figure exceeded that in 2015 led to the Igarapé Institute, dedicated to the security problem, to place it as the country with the most murders in the world.

“The State has no answers, it does not have policies to contain that violence,” the sociologist warned.

– Votes –

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Andressa Anholete – | Investment and segregation due to dangerousness are part of the solutions proposed by specialists, together with changes in Justice and in politics

After the uprisings of 2017 President Michel Temer announced the construction of new prisons.

These centers will separate prisoners for minor offenses from the most dangerous criminals -something that does not happen at present- and they will have cellular blockers, which besides serving to publicize the prison processions are used to direct criminal operations.

Investment and segregation due to dangerousness are part of the solutions proposed by specialists, along with changes in Justice and in politics.

“The judges believe that the solution is to deprive people of their freedom, they should be more creative, use electronic anklets, open regimes and reduce temporary prisons,” Fuchs said.

“Let’s be honest, this is not a popular area, and no leader who says he’s going to take care of the prison system is going to add votes,” he concluded.

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