Police officers sentenced to prison

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL—Twenty three police officers have been sentenced to 156 years in jail each for the involvement in the 1992 prison massacre of Sao Paulo. The officers were convicted of killing thirteen inmates in order to end a revolt within the Carandiru prison.

 In total, 111 prisoners were killed, and prosecutors argued that most were shot dead at close range. Inmates argued that the riot police brutally oppressed the riot.

“We never thought they would come in and kill people randomly, as not everyone had joined the rebellion.” Former prisoner Jacy de Oliveira told the press. “The policemen began shooting everyone; I was on the fifth floor, if you looked a policeman in the eyes, you were dead.”

The convicted officers had originally been accused of killing 15 inmates, but two of the victims were later thought to have been killed by fellow prisoners.

More officers are expected to be brought to trial in the coming months.

Carandiru closed in 2002, after inmates coordinated simultaneous uprisings in 27 jails across the state of Sao Paulo. Thousands of visitors were held hostage.

Prison riots are not uncommon within Brazil, but the justice system’s hesitancy to bring the accused to trial shocked the public.

 

By: Julia Roake

Source: BBC

Image: BBC

22 April 2013

08:15am PDT

 

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