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The Carandiru massacre (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 police made little if any 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] Many countries in the world[who?] called the court's coddling of Guimarães a "step backward" and a contribution to the culture of impunity regarding police violence in Brazil. 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 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]

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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