SAO PAULO — Five inmates have died in a prison riot Tuesday in the central-western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, authorities said.
Another 17 inmates were wounded in the violence at the Dr. Osvaldo Florentino Leite Ferreira prison, according to a statement from the state’s Security Department.
Of the dead, four were shot by fire from other prisoners and one had a heart attack, according to the statement. Two guns were found inside the lockup.
The unrest apparently began as a fight between rival gangs. After the riot was brought under control, authorities began negotiating with prisoners to retake the area of the prison where the violence had occurred. Those talks were suspended late Tuesday, out of security concerns as night fell, but the Security Department said they would resume on Wednesday.
Brazil has seen a spate of prison riots this year that has left dozens of prisoners dead. The violence has raised serious questions about Brazil’s prisons, which are often overcrowded, understaffed and virtually controlled by gangs.