A hundred inmates escape after deadly Brazil prison riot

Injured prisoners receive medical care in an ambulance after a rebellion at the Colonia Agroindustrial prison in the Aparecida de Goiania Complex in the state of Goias, Brazil, on Monday. (AP)
Updated 02 January 2018

A hundred inmates escape after deadly Brazil prison riot

RIO DE JANEIRO: Nearly a hundred escaped inmates remained at large from a state penitentiary in Brazil Tuesday after a deadly riot between rival gangs left nine prisoners dead, all of them burned and two decapitated, officials said.
The riot occurred on Monday in the Complejo de Aparecida prison in the center-west state of Goias. Another 14 inmates were wounded, one of them critically, the head of the state’s prison service, Lt. Col. Newton Castilho, told a news conference.
The violence broke out in a semi-open part of the penitentiary when “C-Block invaded the other wings and started brutal acts against its rivals,” he said.
“There were wounded, bodies burned, and two decapitations,” he said, adding that inmates set fire to a cell block.
The cause appeared to be “splits in the drug-trafficking crime world,” the official said.
A total of 242 inmates managed to escape by scaling a wall, authorities said. Dozens were quickly recaptured, but 99 remained fugitives.
The violent episode recalled a prison riot a year earlier in Manaus, in Brazil’s Amazon region, which left 56 dead.
The country’s penitentiaries often see confrontations between the two main criminal gangs, the Sao Paulo-based PCC and the Comando Vermelho from Rio de Janeiro, and their offshoots. Clashes claimed more than 100 lives last year.
Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population. Official data from June 2016 showed there were more than 700,000 inmates — more than double the capacity built to hold them.


‘Disturbing’ allegations of rape in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: UN

Updated 22 January 2021

‘Disturbing’ allegations of rape in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: UN

  • A UN representative said she was greatly concerned by serious allegations from the northern region

ADDIS ABABA: The UN says it has received “disturbing” reports of sexual violence and abuse in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region, including of individuals forced to rape members of their own family.
Pramila Patten, the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, said she was greatly concerned by serious allegations from the northern region, including “a high number of alleged rapes” in the Tigrayan capital Mekele.
“There are also disturbing reports of individuals allegedly forced to rape members of their own family, under threats of imminent violence,” Patten said in a statement Thursday.
“Some women have also reportedly been forced by military elements to have sex in exchange for basic commodities.”
Patten called on all parties involved in the hostilities to commit to a zero-tolerance policy for crimes of sexual violence.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, announced military operations in Tigray in early November, saying they came in response to attacks by the regional ruling party on federal army camps.
Abiy declared victory after federal forces entered the regional capital in late November, though leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) remain on the run and have vowed to fight on.
Thousands have died in the conflict, according to the International Crisis Group, though a communications blackout and media and humanitarian access restrictions have made it difficult to assess the situation on the ground.
In her statement Thursday, Patten noted that “medical centers have indicated an increase in the demand for emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which is often an indicator of sexual violence in conflict.”
She called for full humanitarian access to Tigray, including camps for displaced people “and refugee camps where new arrivals have allegedly reported cases of sexual violence.”
She voiced concern about “more than 5,000 Eritrean refugees in and around the area of Shire living in dire conditions, many of them reportedly sleeping in an open field with no water or food, as well as the more than 59,000 Ethiopians who have fled the country into neighboring Sudan.”
The caretaker administration in Tigray did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this month state television broadcast footage of a meeting during which an unidentified man in a military uniform expressed concern about rapes in Mekele.
“Why are women being raped in Mekele city?” the man said.
“It wouldn’t be shocking had it been happening during the war, because it is not manageable so it could be expected. But at this moment while federal police and local police are back in town, it is still happening.”