Prisons

Latest Brazil Prison Riot Signals Emerging Security Crisis

Latest Brazil Prison Riot Signals Emerging Security Crisis

A new round of violence in Brazil's prisons is reviving concerns that ongoing problems in the penitentiary system could have implications for the country's broader security situation.

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  • Latest Brazil Prison Riot Signals Emerging Security Crisis

    26 people died in Brazil's latest prison riot.

    A new round of violence in Brazil's prisons is reviving concerns that ongoing problems in the penitentiary system could have implications for the country's broader security situation.

  • Lucrative Cocaine Trade Fuels Gang Presence in Brazil's Amazon

    Cocaine smuggling routes from Peru to Brazil

    An official intelligence report determined that the Peru-to-Brazil cocaine trade is worth $4.5 billion each year, spurring the growth of national and local gangs in Brazil's remote Amazon region, which was recently hit by a spate of prison violence. 

  • Brazil Starts New Year with Series of Brutal Prison Killings

    The Cadeia Pública Raimundo Vidal Pessoa where Brazil’s latest fatal prison riot took place

    Nearly 100 prisoners have been killed in Brazil since the start of the year, in a display of extreme violence reportedly spurred by a gang war unfolding in a penitentiary system suffering from severe overcrowding.

  • Guatemala Ex-President and VP Still Wield Power From Jail: Report

    Former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti, and former President Otto Pérez Molina

    A recent report has suggested that Guatemala's incarcerated former president and vice president continue to wield power from behind bars over a year after their fall from grace, casting fresh doubt on whether this monumental case has achieved any lasting successes against impunity.

  • Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

    Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against former Guatemalan officials, but the multiple schemes connected to him represent the apex of the Guatemalan state's spiral towards a mafia state, and the complicated and perhaps ongoing relationship between him and the international community.

  • The Brazilian Prison System: Challenges and Prospects for Reform

    Brazil's prisons are notoriously overcrowded

    The prison population throughout Latin America has been growing steadily for the past few decades. Harsh drug laws and anti-gang policies have led to a massive increase of the number of people incarcerated, leading to overcrowding in underfunded and often neglected penitentiary systems. The majority of prisoners have yet to be tried, and may wait for years for a hearing. In some countries, gangs continue to operate and recruit new members from inside prisons, and gang leaders order extortion and homicides from behind bars.

  • The Unbelievable Hell Inside El Salvador’s Prisons

    El Salvador's prisons are chronically overcrowded

    A plague of fungal skin diseases, untreated deadly infections, constant threats of tuberculosis epidemics, people fed with their own hands, extreme overcrowding and children locked up with their mothers. This is what the human rights observers reported during the first few months of the extraordinary measures implemented across prisons for El Salvador's gang members.

  • Report Slams Colombia's Failure to Control Prison Overcrowding

    Colombia's prisons are at 154% of capacity

    A report by Colombia's Comptroller General details the state's failure to control runaway overcrowding in prisons despite major investments, highlighting the deep-rooted issues that Latin American states consistently fail to address in reforming their crumbling penitentiary systems.

  • Report Highlights Overcrowding, Other Problems in Bolivia Prisons

    Bolivia's prisons are extremely overcrowded

    A new report details some of the problems facing Bolivia's prison system, and examines some of the challenges policy makers have confronted in their efforts to reform it.

  • How Meditation Reduced Violence in a Mexico Prison

    Meditation has helped bring violence levels down among inmates in Mexico's Apodaca prison

    A meditation technique has been praised for pacifying what was once among Mexico's most violent prisons, demonstrating the success of rehabilitation techniques in a region characterized by a lack of state control in its jails.