The authorities in Brazil have evidently cottoned-on to a novel way of cutting drug-gang crime: let the gangsters kill each other in jail.
On 31 December 2016, 56 alleged members of the First Capital Command drug gang died at the Anisio Jobim penitentiary in Amazonas, attacked by their rivals, the North Family drug faction, which controls the prison.
Revenge came swiftly. On 6 January the PCC killed 31 inmates at the Monte Cristo prison in the Amazonian state of Roraima. Most of them were decapitated and had their hearts cut out.
In a cellphone video that has circulated on social media, PCC members can be seen hacking away at bodies inside the prison. One victim can be seen squirming as a gang member cuts off his head with a white-handled barbecue knife.
Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes says the government is in control of Brazil’s prison system, which houses 620,000 prisoners and is the world’s fourth biggest.
José Carvalho da Silva, who was in charge of the Anisio Jobim prison, has been suspended from his job, following allegations he accepted money from the gang responsible for the massacre. Two prisoners at the jail – Alcinei Gomes da Silveira and Gezildo Nunes da Silva – have written letters accusing him of accepting money from the Família do Norte (Family of the North or FDN) drug trafficking gang in return for allowing it to smuggle drugs, mobile phones and weapons into the prison.
Picture source: Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil via Wikimedia