Violence in the northern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte entered its third day this Thursday, even after the deployment of federal security forces to contain the attacks. At least two buses were set on fire this morning in Natal, the state capital.
The attacks began on Tuesday and have hit 29 cities so far. Many cities have suspended schools and public transport because of the violence.
Justice Minister Flávio Dino spoke with Governor Fátima Bezerra early this morning, and promised to reinforce specialized security teams. More than 220 officers have already arrived in the state.
The attacks are being coordinated by leaders of a criminal organization that is demanding improvements in the prison system. Suspects were transferred to other maximum security prisons.
A report released this week by an anti-torture organization shows that there are a number of violations against prisoners in Rio Grande do Norte. The report alleges numerous cases of torture, meals being prepared with rotten food, and prisoners being deliberately contaminated with tuberculosis — one man with the disease was placed in a cell with other healthy prisoners as a form of punishment.