By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Military police reported to have restarted its negotiations with rioting inmates in a prison complex in the city of Londrina, in the state of Parana. Inmates overpowered the guards on Tuesday morning and took over the prison, setting fire to some cellblocks and maintaining as many as ten other inmates as hostages. Local television stations showed throughout the day images of inmates with sticks and knives up on the roof of the prison.
There are reports that one inmate was thrown off the roof during the night and taken to an area hospital where his condition is said to be stable. The hostages are said to be inmates from a block which houses convicted former police officers and sexual offenders. According to officials all prison guards and administrative personnel were able to get out during the first moments of the rebellion.
Two prisoners from the block were hurt while jumping from the building block trying to escape the rioters. These inmates were taken to the hospital. The rioting inmates have threatened to decapitate some hostages. According to officials, rioting inmates have not yet made their demands known.
During the night, Brazilian media outlets reported sounds of gunfire and smoke bombs. Officials say that the smoke bombs were used after police discovered inmates trying to escape the complex through one of the prison blocks.
Brazilian prisons are notorious for their overcrowded facilities, and incidents of inmate rebellion are not uncommon. Brazil’s Ministry of Justice released a study in June showing that Brazil is the country with the fourth largest prison population in the world, falling only behind the United States, China and Russia. According to Parana state officials the Londrina penitentiary has the capacity to hold 928 but currently houses 1,140 inmates.