• U.S.

Cellblock Slaughter

1 minute read

First reports were that only eight prisoners had been killed Oct. 2 when police stormed Carandiru penitentiary in Brazil’s commercial capital of Sao Paulo to quell a riot. But then surviving prisoners began telling investigators and grieving relatives tales of a savage slaughter: prisoners allegedly machine-gunned as they ran for their cells, others gunned down inside their cells by police shouting “Your time has come.” Some of the injured were reportedly dragged to a prison workshop, where they were torn apart by attack dogs. Row on row of naked prisoners’ bodies were lined up in a local morgue after the killing. The Sao Paulo state government posted names of 111 known dead; the true toll might be even higher. Governor Luis Antonio Fleury fired the state security chief who had ordered the assault; some jurists and human-rights activists demanded that Fleury too be ousted.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com