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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Inmates Free 125 Relatives, 4 Guards at Brazil Prison
Two of the guards had minor injuries but the rest of the hostages were unharmed after a lengthy negotiating session conducted by the police and members of the public entities responsible for the prison system and judiciary

RIO DE JANEIRO – Inmates at the maximum security prison in the city of Aracaju, the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe, on Sunday released 125 relatives and four prison guards they had been holding hostage for the past 26 hours, authorities said.

Two of the guards had minor injuries but the rest of the hostages were unharmed after a lengthy negotiating session conducted by the police and members of the public entities responsible for the prison system and judiciary.

The relatives of the inmates – including children, women and elderly people – were taken hostage at the Complejo Penitenciario Abogado Jacinto Filho, or Compajaf, about 11 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Saturday during visiting hours, the Sergipe Public Safety Secretariat said, and held until 1:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) on Sunday.

The prisoners agreed to end the kidnapping after the Sergipe state government ordered the transfer of several prisoners to other facilities.

The commander of the Military Police in Sergipe, Mauricio Iunes, told local media that “for security reasons” the names and number of transferred prisoners would not be released.

The inmates rioted during the family visiting period and prevented their relatives – who were never considered hostages by the authorities because they were not being threatened by the prisoners – from leaving the prison.

Compajaf is a maximum security prison with the capacity to house 480 inmates and which, in contrast to the majority of Brazil’s prisons, does not suffer from overcrowding.

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