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>> Well before the riot turned massacre that left 56 inmates dead at the Anisio Jobim Prison this week, security experts have been warning that Brazil's penitentiary system was ineptly run and medieval, and ripe for violence. With the severe lack of resources, even in Sao Paulo, the wealthiest state, it is common to see a single guard overlooking 300 to 400 prisoners in a ward.
Reuters correspondent Brad Brooks.>> Brazilian prisons are horrific. There's a total lack of food. There's a total lack of security. There's no safety whatsoever for the prisoners. So what happens is in one particular prison whatever particular drug gang has more members inside that prison, they run the show.
>> Rival gangs like the PCC and the Red Command have their turf wars play out inside the prison. Inmates belonging to the dominant gang are allowed to walk freely. The vunerable inmates belonging to the non-dominant gang are placed in the seguro or safe area, where they're locked in their cells almost all day.
In the Manaus uprising, the prisoners from the dominant gang broke into the higher security areas and carried out the slaughter using guns, machetes and home made knives. The 56 dead in the prison in Manaus were almost all members of the PCC drug gang. They were executed in horrific fashion.
In ways that were meant to provoke the PCC and to send a clear message that the Red Command and their allies in the north, the North Family, will not just let the PCC come in and take over these lucrative cocaine smuggling routes up there in the Amazon.>> Gruesome videos obtained from prisoners' phones show scores of decapitated and hacked bodies.
Many inmates were burned alive in cells, their charred corpses then stacked in shopping carts.