Four dead, 19 injured in Brazil’s third prison riot in a week

At least four prisoners have died and another 19 have been injured during a riot at a prison in the western Brazilian state of Acre, official sources said Friday.

The event took place on Thursday night when rival gangs began a fight inside the Francisco D’Oliveira Conde penitentiary in the state capital of Rio Branco, according to the military police.

Police commander Colonel Ulysses Araujo told the press that three prisoners died inside the prison, a fourth died in hospital and the injured were being treated. The riot apparently continued until a battalion of riot police entered to restore order.

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It was “an internal war between them, which unfortunately affected the population. Two handguns and a 12 mm caliber rifle were found in possession of the prisoners,” said Araujo.

“Other prisoners who were attacked allege the weapons were brought in by prison officers, but this is still being investigated,” he said.

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The regional government of Acre also confirmed that two prison staff had been arrested on suspicion of providing weapons to prisoners.

Over the last week, Acre has seen a wave of attacks attributed to a gang war. At another state prison on Tuesday, at least 25 members of one gang ambushed others, leaving four injured.

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This was also the third prison riot in Brazil within a week, with 22 dead in total.

On Sunday, a gang fight left 10 dead in a prison of the northern state of Roraima, while a fight at a prison in Rondonia left eight dead on Monday. These two events are thought to be linked.