HomeNewsBriefBrazil Video Shows Prison Torture
BRIEF

Brazil Video Shows Prison Torture

BRAZIL / 30 NOV 2017 BY ANGELIKA ALBALADEJO EN

Shocking footage of Brazil prison guards torturing inmates has sparked an investigation, and serves as a stark reminder of the poor prison conditions that strengthen the country’s powerful prison gangs.

The Attorney General’s Office for the central Brazilian state of Goiás has launched an investigation into prison guard abuses after receiving videos recorded in several of the state’s prisons, O Globo reports.

The videos recorded last year show multiple guards from the Penitentiary Operations Group (Grupo de Operações Penitenciárias - GOPE) using stun guns to shock inmates in various Goiás prisons.

In the recordings, several inmates are seen kneeling or sitting on the ground when they are repeatedly shocked by guards. One inmate is also seen sleeping in a hammock in his cell when a guard shocks the inmate several times until he falls to the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k36_0NWrqiQ

A GOPE guard, who O Globo reports was present during the abuses “but did not agree with his colleagues’ behavior,” turned the videos over to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Two guards in charge of the unit have been removed from their positions. Marcelo Celestino, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, told O Globo’s Bom Dia Go that all of the guards visible in the videos are currently under investigation.

InSight Crime Analysis

The recent videos documenting torture in several Brazilian prisons are the latest example of the appalling conditions that have given rise to the country’s ever-strengthening prison gangs.

Brazil’s prisons are notoriously overcrowded and understaffed, which has fueled inhumane treatment of inmates, torture and bloody riots, which sometimes spill into the streets.

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Prisons

In response to these conditions, Brazil’s most prominent criminal networks, the Red Command (Comando Vermelho) and the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) among them, formed as prisoners’ rights organizations. At the outset, both groups grew strong by seeking justice and protection for prisoners in the face of brutal repression by prison guards. However, both have transformed over time into extensive criminal networks.

The PCC and the Red Command now coordinate criminal activities such as extortion and drug dealing both inside and outside of Brazil’s prisons, and the PCC has begun to expand into several other countries in the region.

Ironically, these powerful criminal networks are likely to wield control as long as the conditions within Brazil’s prison system, such as those that appear on the videos, continue to be the norm.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 16 DEC 2011

Authorities highlighed drug seizure and arrest statistics in an updated review of Brazil's $6.3 billion border security plan.

BARRIO 18 / 11 JUN 2013

El Salvador's Cojutepeque jail is a perfect illustration of how prisons in this country have become the main breeding and…

BRAZIL / 5 MAR 2013

Brazilian security forces have occupied 13 communities in two Rio de Janeiro favelas, the latest operation in its program…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…