Blog 5: Gang War in Brazil’s Pedrinhas jail kills 13
In Pedrinhas prison which is in Sao Luis, the state of Maranhao, a riot broke out killing 13 inmates as well as injuring 30. The prison is suffering from being extremely over crowded. The riot started when the guards were tipped off that 60 of the inmates were digging a tunnel under the prison and were planning to escape at dawn. While the guards were trying to fight their way in to the cell entrance, some of the prisoners started a fire and rivals of gangs took that advantage to settle scores during all the confusion. Outside of the prison, family members were waiting to hear information about what was going on. The prison called Pedrinhas is notorious in gang warfare. Earlier this month another three inmates were killed with one of them being decapitated; another was electrocuted in light cables that were placed in the tunnel they were planning to use for the escape. The Brazilian Minister of Justice, Jose Eduardo Cardozo said that Brazil had, “ a medieval prison system, which not only violates human right but does not allow for the most important element of a penal sanction, which is social reintegration.” (bbc.co.uk). With the increase of the number of detainees, the officials are having a hard time keeping pace which makes it hard for them to improve conditions within the jails; despite the new buildings for the prison.
Not only does this article go against the human rights of many inmates that have come to call the Pedrinhas prison home, but just hearing that the prisons in Brazil have a medieval system goes against human moral, on what is wrong and what is right. We all know that gang violence is a big issue in all prisons across the world, you can see it just by walking through a prison, but to have the prison system so far behind does not help with any of the problems. Brazil is an up and coming place in the world and with the increase of inmates that they have going to jail, one would think that they would make the prison more accommodating to the situations at hand. When hearing that the prisons have a medieval system, making someone wonder what exactly are the conditions that these people who are in jail are staying in. We can tell by the fact that there were 60 inmates that were digging a tunnel under one of the cells, that the amount of inmates to guards is a huge difference. Around the world the problems with prisons having inhumane conditions is unbelievable, but at the very same time we have to also look at the different countries that have these very conditions. As people who all live on this Earth we should be able to help the countries with their prisons and make it more humane.