A ‘Problem From Hell’: Why Brazil’s Deadly Prison Riots Keep Happening

A violent clash between rival drug gangs on Monday left at least 57 inmates dead at a prison in the northern Brazilian state of Pará, according to the latest figures from state authorities. 

At least 16 of the murdered prisoners were decapitated with makeshift knives, authorities and news reports said. Others were asphyxiated amid the fighting when a fire sent thick black smoke billowing through the prison. The riot erupted when members of a gang started that fire in a part of the prison where a rival faction had gathered, authorities said. Two guards were temporarily held hostage. Gruesome videos from inside the prison spread across social media. 

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