National Guard troops broke windows, set buses on fire and left at least three people dead on Thursday after three nights of rioting allegedly ordered by jailed gang members in northeastern Brazil.
Most of the violence took place in Rio Grande do Norte state, where gun attacks on public buildings and arson of buses and gas stations have been reported in two dozen cities since Monday night.
The owner of a supermarket was among those killed in the violence. In addition, a rioter in Rio Grande do Norte and another in neighboring Paraiba state were killed in a shootout with police, officials said.
Schools in both states canceled school classes on Thursday and some regular bus services were suspended over fears that school buses would be targeted.
Brazil reintroduced visa requirements for tourists from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan from October. 1
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Rio Grande do Norte’s public security secretary, Francisco Araujo, said Wednesday that the attacks were ordered from inside the state’s largest prison after the warden refused to meet inmates’ demands for TVs, conjugal visits and electricity. Had been.
Several Brazilian media outlets also pointed to dire conditions inside the prisons, citing a report last year by the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship, which indicated that detainees were subjected to torture, putrid food and unhygienic conditions. Was.
The violence continued despite the deployment this week of more than 220 National Guard troops to the area.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Flavio Dino ordered a new task force on Wednesday to try to prevent any acts of violence within prison grounds in a bid to increase security within the prison system.
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