Three Dead in Riot at Brazilian Reformatory

RIO DE JANEIRO – Three inmates were killed in a riot at a reformatory in the northeastern Brazilian city of Cabo de Santo Agostinho, authorities said Wednesday.

The victims’ bodies were burned and have yet to be identified, a spokesman for the Pernambuco state police told Efe.

One of the victims was beheaded during the disturbances, which began around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and went on for more than nine hours until police subdued the inmates with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Four inmates stand accused of leading the riot at the Funase facility in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, 40 kilometers from Recife, the state capital.

The reformatory current holds 368 young men between the ages of 17 and 21.

Three staff members taken hostage at the beginning of the uprising were released unharmed after negotiations between the inmates and the Funase director. The rioters burned mattresses and caused extensive damage to three of the facility’s eight cellblocks, administrators said.

The severed head of one of the fatalities was tossed over the wall wrapped in a sheet and his body was dangled upside down from the bars, media outlets reported.

The riot stemmed from anger over abuses by staff members, the quality of the food and restrictions on visits, according to media accounts that cited inmates’ families. EFE

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