Two prisoners were beheaded and at least another one died after being thrown off the roof in a riot that erupted yesterday in a prison in southern Brazil, authorities say. Inmates of the penitentiary in the city of Cascavel took at least two agents and several other inmates hostage in the uprising, said military police Capt. Ricardo Pinto, who added that negotiations for better conditions in the prison were still under way last night. The BBC and AFP say the riot was still ongoing this morning, and that a fourth prisoner had been killed after also being pushed from the roof. The revolt began before sunrise yesterday when a prison guard was captured during breakfast.
Prisoners set some objects on fire and were using metal poles to cause damage to the 928-bed prison that housed more than 1,000 inmates. Dozens of the prisoners climbed onto the building's rooftop, with their faces covered with white fabric. Local media images showed at least 30 rebellious inmates shouting while they beat men held with ropes around their necks, or whose hands were tied behind them. The rioting inmates waved banners emblazoned with the initials PCC for a criminal prison gang formed in the 1990s. Jairo Ferreira, a lawyer for the prison guards' union, said the prisoners rioted to demand better food and medical care. (Read more prison riot stories.)