Prisoners Captured After Escaping In Brazil: 1,350 Ran Away From Deadly COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Prisoners Captured After Escaping In Brazil: 1,350 Ran Away From Deadly COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Around 500 prisoners have been recaptured after escaping in Brazil. An estimated 1,350 prisoners ran away as a result of the deadly COVID-19 virus outbreak. Image: CGTN America/YouTube

Brazilian authorities have recaptured less than half of the prisoners that escaped during riots in some four semi-open jails ahead of a planned lockdown of the facilities over the coronavirus pandemic.

Prison authorities said they captured about 500 prisoners out of the more than 1,350 inmates who had escaped following the mass breakout in four jails, Mongagua, Tremembe, Porto Feliz and Mirandopolis.

Plans to halt the day-release programs to avoid inmates picking up the disease while outside of the prison and infecting other inmates upon their return resulted in inmates staging mass riots and breakouts.

“The measure was necessary because the benefit would include more than 34,000 convicts of the semi-open regime who, returning to prison, would have high potential to install and propagate coronavirus,” the Secretariat of Penitentiary Administration (SAP) said in a statement.

Local media estimated that more than 1,000 prisoners could be on the loose.

A video shot in the city of Mongaguá, on the coast of Sao Paulo state, and broadcast by TV Globo showed hundreds of men running out of a prison that has the capacity to hold about 2,800 inmates.

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Riots in Sao Paulo state prisons are regular occurrences and often result in bloodshed. Last year, 57 people were killed following rioting at a jail in Altamira, one of Brazil’s most violent cities.

Prison officials said “acts of insubordination” had taken place at the jails ahead of the suspension of the day-release program, Reuters reported.