Police retake Brazilian prison where riot killed 10

Brasilia, Jan 16 (IANS) Police regained control of the Alcacuz state penitentiary in Nisia Floresta, a city in the northeastern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, where 10 inmates died in a riot, officials said.

A police special response unit entered the prison’s cellblocks on Sunday and secured the facility, which was affected by a 14-hour riot, the Rio Grande do Norte Security Secretariat said.

Police regained control of the prison’s perimeter on Saturday night, then they secured the yards before entering the cellblocks, Efe news reports.

Police and military forces were deployed at the Alcacuz prison as a riot broke out between two gangs on Saturday night.

The riot at the prison, the largest in Rio Grande do Norte, involved rival gangs of prisoners, following the pattern of the recent fights that have left more than 100 inmates dead in Brazil this year.

The Alcacuz state penitentiary has a capacity of 620 but currently houses 1,150 inmates, the Justic Secretariat said.

Brazilian officials have been dealing with a wave of violence at prisons since the start of 2017.

On January 1, 56 inmates died in a fight at a prison in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state.

A fight at a prison farm outside Manaus left four other inmates dead.

At least 33 inmates died in a riot at a prison in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima state. Investigators found two other bodies buried at the Boa Vista prison, but the victims had been killed and buried before the riot.

Two inmates were murdered earlier in January at a prison in Paraiba.