Bloodbath driven by revenge

SAO PAULO • The bloodletting in the Monte Cristo prison in the Amazonian state of Roraima was all about revenge.

In a cellphone video that circulated widely on social media, First Capital Command (PCC) gang members are seen hacking away at bodies littering an outdoor patio inside the prison.

"You killed our brothers, didn't you? Look here, look what is going to happen you! This is revenge for what you did to our brothers," a PCC member is heard saying on the video as dozens of bodies lie in thick pools of blood.

One victim, bare-chested and wearing surfer shorts, began to move on the ground. The inmate taking the video calls out to fellow gang members "We've got a live one!" before another gang member rushes over and cuts off the victim's head with a barbecue knife.

Mr Rafael Alcadipani, a public security expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation think-tank in Sao Paulo, said that Brazil's penitentiary system was "self-regulated" by gangs and that mass killings were rare until recent months because of a truce between the country's biggest criminal factions.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 08, 2017, with the headline 'Bloodbath driven by revenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe