At least 52 dead after gangs of prisoners collide with each other in a prison in northern Brazil, on Monday, officials said
Fighting broke out in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center at around 7:00 am (1000 GMT), an official from the Para state government’s penitentiary department told AFP.
Prison official said the fight continued for several hours before the authorities managed to control the situation at midnight yesterday.
Fights and riots often occur in prisons in Brazil due to the overcrowding of inmates and the unmanaged system.
Footage broadcast by SBT Altamira purportedly showed thick black smoke rising from the prison compound and people sitting on the roof of a building.
In May this year, at least 55 prisoners were killed in several jails in the neighboring state of Amazonas in violence also blamed on an apparent gang dispute.
Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population after the United States and China, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics.
The population is double the capacity of the nation’s jails, which in the same year was estimated to be 368,049 inmates.
The federal government had been expected to add another 115,000 inmates by the end of 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.