PCC After a prison riot that killed 56 inmates in Amazonas, Brazilian authorities decided to transfer gang leaders to a new penitentiary. The massacre was the result of a conflict between Brazil’s two drug cartels: the local Família do Norte (FDN) and the São Paulo-based First Command of the Capital (PCC).
As an emergency measure, the local government decided to isolate PCC members and reactivated an old prison to house them. Brazil’s National Justice Council deactivated the facility back in October. It considered the prison a “cesspool of human rights violations.”
The war between the two gangs is a result of the feud between PCC and Rio’s Red Command. FDN is actually the Red Command’s “subsidiary” in northern Brazil. In June, a Red Command leader died in an ambush, allegedly by PCC men. Since then, the two rival gangs have staged riots in dozens of Brazilian prisons.
Sunday’s riot came after the Red Command’s decision to eliminate PCC in the state. It remains impossible to predict how the São Paulo-based gang will react. But there’s reason for fear. Last year marked the 10-year anniversary of the PCC’s declaration of war on São Paulo. The conflict between the gang and the police resulted in the death of 564 people in plain sight over a span of only 10 ten days.
A total of 184 inmates escaped from the Amazonas prison. So far, the police have only found 56 of them.
Pope Francis calls for human prisons
Sunday’s riot exposed how inhumane the Brazilian prison system is. Following the massacre, Pope Francis asked for a human treatment for inmates throughout the world. “I express my pain and concern for what happened,” he said.
He continued: “I pray for those who have died and their families and for all prisoners in that prison and those who work there. I renew my appeal that prisons should be places of re-education and re-integration into the community, and the conditions for prisoners should be fitting for human beings.”