Images of Rio Prison Party Force Tightened Security for Jailed Police

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Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police plans increase security at a controversial prison unit holding former officers accused of crimes, following the publication of images of a party held there by an escaped prisoner.

Former military policeman Carlos Ari Ribeiro, alias “Carlao,” is accused of being a member of a militia group known as the Justice League (Liga da Justica), and being responsible for at least 16 murders. He escaped from the military police’s Special Prison Unit (Batalhão Especial Prisional – BEP) on September 2.

Newspaper O Globo published photos this week showing Ribeiro holding a party with other inmates, attended by his wife and children, before his escape (see images above and below). The inmates are dressed in civilian clothes, sporting gold jewelry, and were reportedly drinking alcohol.

In response to the publication of the images, commanding officer of the battalion, Coronel Mario Sergio Duarte, said that the prison would be moved to a more secure location, and that the inmates would have to wear uniforms. The BEP plans to hold an investigation into the party.

The military police said that the secure new unit would feature security cameras and X-ray machines to scan those entering the facility.

Amnesty International has previously criticized the “lax security” in the jail, noting reports that prisoners have been allowed to leave the facility to commit murders.

Ricardo Teixeira da Cruz, known as “Batman,” who leads the Justice League militia group, escaped from the BEP in 2008, before being recaptured.

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