Voice of America

Voice of America 2 May 2020

Relatives in Brazil Gather Outside Manaus Prison After Reported Riot



Relatives of inmates wait outside a prison in the Brazilian city of Manaus after prisoners reportedly staged a riot at a time where the capital of the vast Amazonas state grapples with the highest coronavirus mortality rate of any city in Brazil.

The reason for the rebellion at the Puraquequara Penitentiary was not immediately clear, but local television stations cited a video allegedly recorded by an unidentified inmate, who complained of sweltering heat and a lack of electricity in the prison.

The rebellion comes as the coronavirus outbreak has overwhelmed public services in Manaus, with authorities burying victims in mass graves and warning residents of a shortage soon of coffins.

In a statement, the prison authority in the state of Amazonas, where Manaus is located, said the prisoners were demanding the presence of the press and human rights groups. They had no information on possible deaths.

Violence is rife in Brazil's prisons, where organized crime groups often exercise de facto control. Overcrowding is also common and rights groups call conditions medieval, with food scarce and cells so packed that prisoners have no space to lie down.



More than 500 coffins arrive by boat to the port of Manaus as the coronavirus pandemic leaves one of the hardest-hit cities in Brazil short of burial containers. In the upcoming days, more than 800 additional coffins will be delivered to further support undertakers.
- - - - - - - - -
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday joined hundreds of demonstrators outside army headquarters in the capital Brasilia protesting stay-at-home orders issued by state governors.

The crowd of around 600 called on the army to intervene in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and demanded the closure of Congress. Some held up posters declaring "Military intervention with Bolsonaro."

"I am here because I believe in you and you are here because you believe in Brazil," the president told the crowd from the back of a pick-up truck.
Things get heated as hundreds gather outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles to protest stay-at-home orders.The protest was one of several around California demanding the reopening of the economy and easing of stay-at-home rules despite the high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths statewide.

▶️ Health professionals are receiving free rapid coronavirus tests at a drive-through in Manaus, in Brazil's hard-hit Amazonas State, where 5.5% of 23.000 health workers tested positive for the virus on Monday, May 4.

Share Video:

Embed Video: