Sao Paulo, Jan 3: At least 60 people were killed brutally with many beheaded, some were set on fire in a clash between rival gangs over the weekend at the Anisio Jobim penitentiary in Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state, officials said on Monday.
The incident held on Sunday afternoon when a fight broke out between members of the Familia do Norte (FDN), the gang that controls the prison with members of the First Capital Command (PCC), a criminal organisation based in Sao Paulo, EFE news reported.
Horrifyingly many inmates were beheaded, mutilated and set on fire in the fight, which the FDN started to give a “message” to the PCC about its power in the state, Amazonas Public Safety Secretary Sergio Fontes said in a press conference.
“There were only deaths on one side. The FDN massacred the suspected members of the PCC and a few other inmates,” Fontes said.The FDN is an ally of the Red Command (CV), a gang from Rio de Janeiro that is a rival of the PCC.
The incident was termed as “biggest massacre in the prison system” in Amazonas which produced the highest loss of life ever at the hands of inmates in a penitentiary fight in Brazil, the Public Safety Secretariat said.
An uprising 24 years ago at Sao Paulo’s Carandiru prison 111 inmates were killed, but the majority of the deaths were at the hands of police who stormed the penitentiary.
“Unfortunately, we are looking at the largest and most horrible massacre to occur in Brazil’s prisons,” the head of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) Human Rights Commission in Amazonas state, Epitacio Almeida, said.
The OAB assisted the inmates with the negotiations and worked to get the 12 hostages taken during the riot released.