22:09 GMT08 July 2020
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    Prison disturbances the latest in a series of riots at Brazilian prisons, many of which are reported to suffer from overcrowding.

    MOSCOW, December 30 (Sputnik) – Prisoners in a Brazilian prison have taken hostage seven prison staff after disorder began in the facility on December 30, according to AFP.

    "Prison staff could not confirm if any further hostages had been released in the second mutiny by inmates of the facility, built in 1996 and which holds 650 prisoners, in just over two months," the agency reports, adding that the inmates have released one of the hostages they seized since the riot began mid-afternoon at Maringa prison in the state of Parana, where is 636 prisoners are currently being detained.

    The unrest is the latest in a string of disturbances at prisons in the country, several of which have taken place in Parana state, which borders with Sao Paolo state in the south of the country. In October, a two day standoff ensued when rioting inmates at Guarapuava jail took hostage 13 guards. A local official told the BBC that the hostages were later freed after demands from inmates to be moved to other facilities were met.

    Another rebellion in Parana took place in August, at Cascavel prison, and resulted in the deaths of five people in two days of disturbances, after which hundreds of inmates were transferred to different centers for detention. In February, at least two prisoners were killed and eight injured during a riot in Sao Jaoa prison, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. According to a report from the International Centre for Prison Studies, the prison has a capacity of 650 but was holding 1,870 detainees at the time of the disturbance.

    Brazil has the world's fourth largest prison population, with 550,000 inmates residing in overcrowded conditions. A report published by the Economist in January 2014 revealed that at least 218 prisoners had been murdered since January 2013 in 24 of the country's 27 prisons, and that the number of inmates has grown by 30 percent in the last 20 years.


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