By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the aftermath of the prison riot that took place in Natal Alcaçuz State Penitentiary between January 14th and 15th, Rio Grande do Norte’s state governor Robinson Faria will travel to Brasília today, Tuesday, January 17th, to request security help from Brazil’s federal government.
Ten prisoners were initially believed dead after the weekend, but violence escalated again yesterday afternoon (January 16th) after military police left the facility. Inmates climbed on to the prison’s roof bearing flags alluding to criminal factions and armed with sticks, stones and knives.
The Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) regained control of the penitentiary later in the afternoon, with help from shock troops and state police forces.
Last night, state secretaries of Justice and Citizenship, Walber Virgolino da Silva Ferreira, and Public Security and Social Defense, Caio César Marques Bezerra confirmed that 26 had been killed in the Alcaçuz rebellion.
However, further deaths are suspected by Secretary of State for Justice and Citizenship of Rio Grande do Norte (SEJUC) as a result of the uprising.
Faria is scheduled to meet with federal Minister of Justice Alexandre de Moraes today to formally request help from the Força Nacional (National Force) to secure the state’s prisons.
“I also requested an audience with President Michel Temer to address the situation,” Faria announced via Twitter.
The bodies, which have not yet been identified, are currently in the hands of the Technical-Scientific Institute of Police (ITEP). Government news sources reported that while security forces now have control of the penitentiary, tensions remained high.