Continuing lawlessness in the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo has now claimed the lives of 81 people, many of them police officers. The wave of violence began on Friday, and is apparently being directed by gang leaders behind bars, after 700 were transferred to higher-security prisons on Friday.
Order has now been restored to jails around the country and 200 hostages have been freed uninjured. Experts say the unrest is an escalation of tension between the state authorities and an armed criminal faction known as the PCC. “The national force is at the disposal of Sao Paolo to help resolve the crisis” said the Brazilian Justice Minister Marcio Thomas Bastos. Heavily armed gangs held up more than 60 buses during the third consecutive night of violence. Transport terminals have been closed, making it impossible for passengers to travel. Many took to the streets of Sao Paolo, the world’s third largest city and the economic dynamo of Brazil, in protest.