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In what is believed to be the grisliest incident in the country’s penitentiary system since 1992, several bodies were beheaded, dismembered, and thrown over the fence of the prison in the city of Manaus, Security Chief for Amazonas State Sergio Fontes told reporters at a presser.
Fontes said that 12 guards were held hostage by the inmates in the riot that started Sunday afternoon but were released following terse negotiations the following morning.
Luis Carlos Valois, a local judge who negotiated the end of the violence, said in a post on his Facebook page, “I never saw anything like that in my life. All those bodies, the blood.”
The riot ended after the release of the prison guards.
Amazonas State Prison Secretary Pedro Florencio told Reuters that the massacre was a “revenge killing” in a feud between criminal gangs.
Officials say that most of the dead belong to the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Command (PCC) drug gang.
Fontes also said that a number of prisoners have managed to flee, because as the riot began in the main complex, inmates in another unit started a mass escape.
He added that police were able to catch 40 of the escapees but provided no further details about the total number of escaped convicts.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies