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The Carandiru massacre (Massacre do Carandiru, Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐˈsakɾi du kɐɾɐ̃dʒiˈɾu]) took place on Friday, October 2, 1992, in Carandiru Penitentiary in São Paulo, Brazil, when military police stormed the facility following a prison riot. The massacre, which left 111 prisoners dead (102 shot by the police; 9 killed by other inmates), is considered a major human rights violation in the history of Brazil.


The massacre was triggered by a prisoner revolt within the prison. The prison guards made little effort to negotiate with the prisoners before the Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo stormed the facility,[1] as the prison riot became more difficult for prison guards to control. The resulting casualties were 111 prisoners killed: 102 from gunshots fired by police and nine from stab wounds apparently inflicted by other prisoners before the arrival of the police.[2] None of the sixty-eight police officers were killed. Survivors claimed that the police also fired at inmates who had already surrendered or were trying to hide in their cells.[3]


The commanding officer of the operation, Colonel Ubiratan Guimarães, was initially sentenced to 632 years in prison for his mishandling of the rebellion and subsequent massacre.[4] On February 16, 2006 a Brazilian court voided Guimarães' conviction because of mistrial claims; the court accepted his argument that he was only following orders.[5] Guimarães, who was also a member of the São Paulo state legislature, was assassinated in September 2006.[6]

Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), one of Brazil's most notorious gangs, is said to have been formed in 1993 as a response to the event.[7] This group is believed to be responsible for the death of José Ismael Pedrosa, director of the prison at the time.[8]

The prison was demolished on December 9, 2002.[9]

In April 2013, 23 policemen involved in the massacre were sentenced to 156 years in jail each for the killing of 13 inmates,[10] while a further 25 policemen involved in the massacre were sentenced to 624 years in jail each for the deaths of 52 inmates in August 2013.[11] In a last trial 15 more policemen were sentenced to 48 years each in April 2014.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

  • These events are documented in the book Estação Carandiru by Dr. Dráuzio Varella and inspired the 2003 film Carandiru.
  • These events also were spoken about in the song "Manifest" on the Chaos A.D. album by Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura.
  • It inspired the song "Haiti" by Caetano Veloso with Gilberto Gil, protesting racial discrimination and social inequality, on their 1993 album Tropicália 2.
  • It is mentioned by the group Racionais in their songs "Diario de um Detento" and "Vida Loca III", and also in the song "19 Rebellions" by the British group Asian Dub Foundation.
  • This massacre inspired the US television Prison Break's season 3's main setting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anne Manuel (1998). Behind bars in Brazil. Human Rights Watch. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-56432-195-4. 
  2. ^ Carandiru, das Gefaengnissmassaker in Sao Paulo (Ger.), 1995, Editor: Amnesty International FDCL-Verlag, Author: Elói Pietá & Justino Pereira, ISBN 3-923020-15-5
  3. ^ "Brazil jail massacre: Policeman convicted". BBC. 30 June 2001. 
  4. ^ "Comandante da invasão do Carandiru é morto em SP" (in Portuguese). Terra Networks. September 21, 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Brazil annuls jail deaths verdict". BBC. February 16, 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Polícia investiga ligações da mãe de Carla Cepollina" (in Portuguese). O Globo. September 21, 2006. 
  7. ^ Jaylan Boyle (June 8, 2010). "Prison Overcrowding Continues" (in Portuguese). The Rio Times. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  8. ^ AAP (22 April 2013). "Brazil police jailed for prison 'massacre'". The Australian. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "vc repórter: ex-agente guarda histórias e imagens do Carandiru". Terra Networks (in Portuguese). 5 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Brazil police sentenced over Carandiru jail massacre". BBC News. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Brazil Carandiru jail massacre police guilty". BBC News. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "15 police guilty in Brazil prison killings". eNCA. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carandiru_massacre — Please support Wikipedia.
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112 news items

Noisey (blog)

Noisey (blog)
Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:25:20 -0700

The infamous Carandiru massacre—a horrific prison riot that left 111 inmates dead by the hands of São Paulo's militaristic police force—took place a year before Sepultura recorded and released Chaos A.D., and the lyrics of “Refuse/Resist” depict that ...
Amnesty International
Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:41:16 -0700

'Shoot first, ask later'The Carandiru massacre didn't come as a surprise to many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International. Even the local authorities say Brazil's prison system has long been “at breaking point”. “The Carandiru ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sat, 03 Aug 2013 04:23:59 -0700

Twenty-five police have been given long sentences for their part in the 1992 massacre in Sao Paulo's Carandiru jail that left 111 prisoners dead. Each officer received 624 years for the death of 52 inmates, but in Brazil no-one serves more than 30 ...

The Independent

The Independent
Mon, 08 Apr 2013 17:33:45 -0700

More than 20 years after police in Sao Paulo put down a jail riot by allegedly executing more than 100 prisoners, 26 officers have gone on trial accused of murder. They are the first rank-and-file officers to face prosecution for the massacre at ...

Rede Brasil Atual

Rede Brasil Atual
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 08:41:15 -0700

Repórter narra os horrores do ocorrido naquele 2 de outubro. Escritor traça paralelo entre o episódio e o surgimento do PCC. por Redação RBA publicado 02/10/2015 12:38, última modificação 02/10/2015 12:50. Comments. Repórter narra os horrores do ...

International Business Times

International Business Times
Thu, 04 Oct 2012 06:49:15 -0700

It has been two decades since a shocking massacre in Brazil led to the deaths of more than a hundred inmates at the Carandiru jail in Sao Paulo, but the city has not forgotten. On Wednesday, hundreds of people held a vigil for the victims at the ...

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:45:00 -0700

The judge sentenced each of the officers to 48 years in prison over what became known as the "Carandiru massacre". More than 100 inmates died when police stormed the jail in Sao Paulo to quell a prisoner uprising. Many were locked in their cells and ...

Rede Brasil Atual

Rede Brasil Atual
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 05:57:45 -0700

São Paulo – Para lembrar dos 23 anos do massacre do Carandiru, em que 111 pessoas foram mortas por agentes do estado, o I Seminário Internacional de Pesquisa em Prisão reúne hoje (2), em São Paulo, pesquisadores do Brasil e de outros países, que ...

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