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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 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]

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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59 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:48:44 -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 ...

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Wed, 04 Aug 2010 05:26:06 -0700

Editor's note: The staff at CNN.com has recently been intrigued by the journalism of VICE, an independent media company and website based in Brooklyn, New York. VBS.TV is Vice's broadband television network. The reports, which are produced solely by ...
BBC News
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 12:29:32 -0700

Prison riots are common in Brazil's overcrowded jails, but the "Carandiru massacre", as it soon became known, shocked the country in 1992. The riot began with a row between two prisoners over a football match they had played in their recreation time.

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 29 Jul 2013 13:36:58 -0700

Witnesses say riot police began shooting at random as they stormed the Carandiru prison. In half-an-hour, 111 prisoners were killed in what became known as the Carandiru massacre. The policemen currently facing trial are accused of killing 73 prisoners ...

Global Voices Online

Global Voices Online
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:46:35 -0800

The incident – in which the assailants only faced justice 20 years later, in 2012 – became known as “The Carandiru massacre” and was depicted in the 2003 movie “Carandiru”, which earned international acclaim. The Carandiru bloodbath, however, is only ...

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