Brazil’s government faces one of its most difficult political moments of its short time in office following the death of close to 100 prisoners in a week and after one of its ministers welcomed the deaths, saying the country needed more deadly riots to control the country's prison overpopulation.
“More people should have died. There should be one riot each week,” said Minister of Youth Affairs Bruno Julio on Saturday, which led him to resign just hours after his statement.
Just three days after a prison massacre that saw 56 inmates dead and some decapitated during a prison riot in Amazonas on Jan. 1, President Temer said it was a “terrible accident.” More than 100 prisoners escaped the prison and are still on the run.
The president said that since the prison was privately-run it was not the state’s responsibility to answer for these massive and cruel homicides.
Relatives of inmates demand justice in front of Desembargador Raimundo Vidal Pessoa jail in Manaus. Reuters
The next day, four people were murdered in a nearby prison, and on Jan. 6, another prison riot saw 33 inmates killed in the state Roraima.
Shockingly, a new riot on Jan. 8 saw four more people killed in a prison in Manaus, three of whom were decapitated.
Since promoting a parliamentary coup to oust President Dilma Rousseff and using his newfound power to push through harsh neoliberal measures such as gutting social spending for the next 20 years, punishing the poor and workers, Temer now deals with increasing violence across the country as the nation plunges into anger and despair following the overthrow of democracy.