RIO DE JANEIRO – At least 10 inmates were killed on Monday during a clash between gangs in a prison in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceara, an area where another 14 people were killed in a discotheque shooting last weekend.
The incident occurred in Itapaje Prison, at some 125 kilometers (78 miles) from Fortaleza, the state capital, when convicts belonging to rival gangs got into a violent fight, official sources said.
“Inmates started a fight between rival groups that ended up with some of them dead. Municipal police and prison guards of the Regional Operations Group stepped in and took control of the prison,” said a statement issued by the Ceara Justice and Citizenship Secretariat.
According to the Diario do Nordeste newspaper, prisoners aligned with one faction dodged surveillance and “cruelly” murdered their rivals. Nine inmates died in the prison and another passed away in hospital.
The lethal fight in Itapaje Prison, which has some 113 inmates, followed escapes in another three of the state’s prisons, where at least 10 prisoners managed to get away, according to the Ceara penitentiary union.
Violence has exploded over the last fewe months in this northeastern Brazilian state, where 14 people were killed last Saturday in a discotheque shooting in Fortaleza, presumably also the result of an ongoing war between criminal gangs.