At least 33 prisoners killed in new Brazil prison uprising

At least 33 prisoners killed in new Brazil prison uprising

At least 33 inmates have been killed by their rivals at a prison in northern Brazil, just days after a similar riot by warring gangs erupted at other prisons.

The PCC gang is one of Brazil's largest, earning more than $32 million a year in drug sales with about 13,000 members.

Rights activists have long condemned prison conditions in Brazil, where the justice ministry says 50 percent more capacity is needed to handle an inmate population swollen by efforts to crack down on a violent and lucrative drug trade.

It's also becoming a flashpoint for the government of President Michel Temer, whose administration is already struggling with an economic crisis and mounting corruption allegations. "Many of the dead have been decapitated and had their hearts and guts ripped out". Moraes offered no deadlines for the initiatives but said they would "be realistic" given the recession in Latin America's largest economy.

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Authorities said gangs are fighting for control of drug routes in the northern part of the country, which borders Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and the Guianas. In another of the riots, four prisoners died. As of Thursday afternoon, only 65 had been recaptured.

In October, a riot at the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo left 10 dead. During the 17-hour riot PCC members clashed with members of a rival gang, Family of the North (FDN), a powerful local gang.

Asked about the request Friday, Moraes, the justice minister, said that Roraima had requested policemen to help in patrolling Venezuelans that were entering Brazilian territory - although that is not what the letter stated. Camila Dias, a sociologist at the Federal University of ABC in Sao Paulo and expert on Brazil's prison system, told Reuters that even in the relatively wealthy state of Sao Paulo, a single guard oversees 300 to 400 prisoners in some prisons.