Brazilian police officers get 156-year sentences

Brasilia, April 22 (IANS) A Brazilian judge has sentenced 23 police officers to 156 years in prison each for involvement in a notorious prison massacre in 1992.

The officers were convicted of killing 13 inmates during an operation to quell a revolt in Carandiru Prison in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. The incident came to be known as the “Carandiru massacre”.

A seven-member jury at the trial found the officers guilty of shooting at rioting prisoners from the facility’s second-floor using machine guns, reported Xinhua.

The defence vowed to appeal and argued that “it does not reflect society’s opinion”.

The “Carandiru massacre” Oct 2, 1992, was triggered by a prisoner’s revolt. But the police were accused of making little efforts before storming the facility. A total of 111 inmates were killed during the riot, with no death on the police side.

In 2001, Col. Ubiratan Guimaraes, head of the police operation, was sentenced to 632 years in prison for the deaths of 102 of the 111 prisoners. But his sentence was annulled in 2006 by Sao Paulo’s Court of Justice.

Carandiru Prison was South America’s largest penitentiary at its peak, housing over 8,000 inmates. It was closed and demolished in 2002.

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