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Brazil's brutal prison violence prompts government action

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By Christopher Cummins  with Agencies
Brazil's brutal prison violence prompts government action

A recent spate of extreme prison violence in Brazil has seen up 100 inmates killed in the first few weeks of the new year.

The latest unrest in Alcaçuz prison in the state of Rio Grande saw police fire rubber bullets to break up violent clashes between members of rival drug cartels.

A rapidly growing prison population has led to chronic overcrowding making gang segregation difficult.

Brazilian President Michel Temer says it is time for the authorities to act:“We have decided to build five more maximum security prisons under the federal union, and 25 more prisons in each Brazilian state. We have made the budget available for this.”

On the first six days of January 56 prisoners were killed in Manaus and 33 died in brutal circumstances in Roraima state.

The surge, in part, is due to the end of a truce between Brazil’s two biggest drug cartels.