More than 130 inmates escaped in two mass prison breaks from separate facilities in Brazil over the last three days.
On Friday, 82 prisoners escaped through a hole in the roof of a prison complex in Barreiras, in Brazil’s northeastern Bahia state. According to reports, 12 inmates have been recaptured, but 70 remain at large. Among the fugitives are men convicted of violent crimes like armed robbery and murder.
A second breakout occurred on Sunday in the capital of the same state, Salvador de Bahia. After overpowering uniformed guards and another employee, a group of 52 inmates escaped. They were reportedly led by Ronei Batista da Silva, considered by prison authorities to be amongst the most dangerous detainees.
Overcrowding is a serious problem for Brazil’s prison system. The facility in Barreiras, for example, was designed to hold 28, but houses approximately 172 prisoners. The complex in Salvador de Bahia has double the inmate population it was intended to hold.