The Carandiru massacre (Massacre do Carandiru, Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐˈsakɾi du kɐɾɐ̃dʒiˈɾu]) took place on Friday, October 2, 1992, in Carandiru Penitentiary in São Paulo, Brazil, when military police stormed the facility following a prison riot. The massacre, which left 111 prisoners dead (102 shot by the police; 9 killed by other inmates), is considered a major human rights violation in the history of Brazil.
The massacre was triggered by a prisoner revolt in the prison. The prison guards made little effort to negotiate with the prisoners before the Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo stormed the facility, as the prison riot became more difficult for prison guards to control. The resulting casualties were 111 prisoners killed: 102 from gunshots fired by police and nine from stab wounds apparently inflicted by other prisoners before the arrival of the police. None of the sixty-eight police officers were killed. Survivors claimed that the police also fired at inmates who had already surrendered or were trying to hide in their cells.
The commanding officer of the operation, Colonel Ubiratan Guimarães, was initially sentenced to 632 years in prison for his mishandling of the rebellion and subsequent massacre. On February 16, 2006 a Brazilian court voided Guimarães' conviction because of mistrial claims; the court accepted his argument that he was only following orders. Guimarães, who was also a member of the São Paulo state legislature, was assassinated in September 2006.
Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), one of Brazil's most notorious gangs, is said to have been formed in 1993 as a response to the event. This group is believed to be responsible for the death of José Ismael Pedrosa, director of the prison at the time.
The prison was demolished on December 9, 2002.
In April 2013, 23 policemen involved in the massacre were sentenced to 156 years in jail each for the killing of 13 inmates, while a further 25 policemen involved in the massacre were sentenced to 624 years in jail each for the deaths of 52 inmates in August 2013. In a last trial 15 more policemen were sentenced to 48 years each in April 2014.
In popular culture
- These events are documented in the book Estação Carandiru by Dr. Dráuzio Varella and inspired the 2003 film Carandiru.
- These events also were spoken about in the song "Manifest" on the Chaos A.D. album by Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura.
- It inspired the song "Haiti" by Caetano Veloso with Gilberto Gil, protesting racial discrimination and social inequality, on their 1993 album Tropicália 2.
- It is mentioned by the group Racionais in their songs "Diario de um Detento" and "Vida Loca III", and also in the song "19 Rebellions" by the British group Asian Dub Foundation.
- This massacre inspired the US television Prison Break's season 3's main setting.
- Anne Manuel (1998). Behind bars in Brazil. Human Rights Watch. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-56432-195-4.
- Carandiru, das Gefaengnissmassaker in Sao Paulo (Ger.), 1995, Editor: Amnesty International FDCL-Verlag, Author: Elói Pietá & Justino Pereira, ISBN 3-923020-15-5
- "Brazil jail massacre: Policeman convicted". BBC. 30 June 2001.
- "Comandante da invasão do Carandiru é morto em SP" (in Portuguese). Terra Networks. September 21, 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Brazil annuls jail deaths verdict". BBC. February 16, 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Polícia investiga ligações da mãe de Carla Cepollina" (in Portuguese). O Globo. September 21, 2006.
- Jaylan Boyle (June 8, 2010). "Prison Overcrowding Continues" (in Portuguese). The Rio Times. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- AAP (22 April 2013). "Brazil police jailed for prison 'massacre'". The Australian. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "vc repórter: ex-agente guarda histórias e imagens do Carandiru". Terra Networks (in Portuguese). 5 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Brazil police sentenced over Carandiru jail massacre". BBC News. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Brazil Carandiru jail massacre police guilty". BBC News. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- "15 police guilty in Brazil prison killings". eNCA. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.