Things That Matter

This Massive Prison Riot In Brazil Is Making Headlines Around The World For How Gruesome It Was

At least 57 inmates died, 16 of whom were decapitated, in a prison riot that broke out on Monday morning in the northern Brazilian state of Para – the latest in a series of deadly clashes.

Authorities said the riot involved rival criminal gangs who took at least two penitentiary officers hostage as they battled one another.

Nearly 60 people have been killed after a prison riot in Brazil.

Officials said a local drug gang had invaded the wing controlled by its rivals in the city of Altamira in the state of Pará, decapitated 16 prisoners and set mattresses on fire, with dozens more thought to have been asphyxiated in the smoke.

Security specialists blamed a war across the Amazon region for control of the lucrative drug trade, which is also believed to have been the reason for the killing of 56 prisoners in a prison in the Amazon city of Manaus in 2017 and a series of bloody revenge killings that ensued.

Sixteen of the inmates who died were killed by decapitation.

Videos circulating online showed inmates at the prison celebrating as they kicked decapitated heads across the floor.

Authorities also say that inmates set fire to the prison killing dozens more.

Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para’s state government said in a statement.

Most of the dead died in the fire, they said, while two guards were taken hostage, but later released.

The state government says that the riot started after a brawl broke out between rival gangs.

As Brazil’s incarcerated population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates – the world’s third-highest – its prison gangs have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls.

Prison gangs originally formed to protect inmates and advocate for better conditions, but have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls. The gangs have been linked to bank heists, drug trafficking and gun-running, with jailed kingpins presiding over criminal empires via smuggled cellphones.

In the country’s violent northeast, prison gangs have grown powerful by moving cocaine from Colombia and Peru along the Amazon’s waterways to the Atlantic coast, where it heads to Africa and Europe. Murderous disputes often arise as they clash over territorial control.

The Red Command hails from Rio de Janeiro, but has expanded deep into northernBrazilas it seeks to diversify its income. That expansion has often led to confrontations with Brazil’s largest and most powerful gang, the First Capital Command, headquartered in Sao Paulo.

The Comando Classe A gang is seen as a relatively small gang, and is little known outside Para. Its high-profile attack against the Red Command could give it a nationwide reputation.

And this riot is just one of many in a recent outbreak of intense prison violence.

Elected on a tough-on-crime message, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has benefited from a sharp drop in homicides so far this year. Nonetheless, endemic prison violence has been a stubborn public security challenge in one of the world’s most violent countries.

In May, at least 55 inmates died during prison attacks in the northern state of Amazonas. Weeks of violence in Amazonas in 2017 resulted in 150 prison deaths as local gangs backed by Brazil’s two largest drug factions went to war.

Brazil President Bolsonaro Fires Secretary Of Culture After He Paraphrased A Nazi Speech

Things That Matter

Brazil President Bolsonaro Fires Secretary Of Culture After He Paraphrased A Nazi Speech

@phpacha / @noblecavalcante / Twitter

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro fired his Secretary of Culture after he published a video that paraphrased a well-known Nazi speech at Adolf Hitler’s favorite opera. Former Secretary of Culture Roberto Alvim’s posted the video to his Twitter account Thursday evening and the overnight public outcry resulted in his firing the following day. Even the setting of the video bore so much resemblance to Nazi Germany propaganda minister Joseph Goebbel’s own desk, both with framed photographs of their elected leaders in the background. Alvim played music from the Wagner opera, Hitler’s favorite opera, in the background of his paraphrased speech from the Nazi leader’s propaganda leader.

At first, Alvim tried to chock up the viral outcry as leftist sensitivities. Eventually, he admitted that he asked his aides to Google speeches on “nationalism and art,” which inevitably led to the infamous speech by Goebbel. 

Both Joseph Goebbel and Roberto Alvim said that their country’s art will be “heroic” and “national” or “it will be nothing.”

CREDIT: @PHPACHA / TWITTER

Goebbel delivered his speech in 1933, the same year Nazis seized control of Germany, as an impassioned invitation for artists to join the nationalist movement. Goebbel was intensely anti-Semitic and eventually rose in ranks to become Hitler’s second-hand man. Hitler’s will left Goebbels as the new Chancellor of Germany, for which Goebbels accepted for just one day. The next day, Goebbels and his wife poisoned their six children with cyanide and committed suicide. Twelve years earlier, at the start of the Nazi regime, Goebbels became known for his speech that would but unwittingly plagiarized nearly a century later by Alvim. 

“German art of the next decade will be heroic, will be wildly romantic, will be objective and free of sentimentality, will be national with great pathos and equally imperative and binding, or else it will be nothing,” Goebbels became known to say.

“Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and it will be national… and imperative because it will be rooted in the urgent aspirations of our people, or it will be nothing,” Alvim similarly said in an address meant to announce a $4.8 million investment in Brazil’s national arts program.

Several top officials suspected that Alvim “may not be of sound mind,” but others disagree.

CREDIT: @CLUPPO / TWITTER

The speaker of the House called for Alvim’s removal from office while the Supreme Court’s highest office said that his speech must be “repudiated with vehemence.” Meanwhile, Olavo de Carvalho, a radical right YouTuber (think the Stephen Miller to Donald Trump), suspected that “it may be too early to judge, but Roberto Alvim may not be of sound mind. We’ll see,” in a Facebook post. Carvalho has since landed on a conspiracy theory that Alvim had a secretly liberal employee that sabotaged his reputation by paraphrasing Goebbel and overlaying his speech with Hitler’s favorite opera. 

Roberto Alvim couldn’t be more lucid. Had it not been for the controversy, the pressure of networks, society and the wear and tear on the political environment, it is quite likely that Bolsonaro would have kept him in office since it’s a fascist government,” tweeted another Brazilian.

Bolsonaro’s administration has decided to distance itself from Alvim regardless.

CREDIT: @NOBLECAVALCANTE / TWITTER

The day after the speech, Germany’s embassy declared, “The period of National Socialism is the darkest chapter in German history, bringing infinite suffering to humanity….We oppose any attempt to trivialize or even glorify the era of National Socialism.” Israel’s embassy issued a statement that put it bluntly: “Such a person cannot command the culture of our country and must be removed from office immediately.” Only after Israel called for Alvim’s ouster did Bolsonaro make what he called an “unfortunate pronouncement” that Alvim would be removed from office. The video is shockingly similar to Goebbel’s, stylistically, but the core nationalistic sentiments are one and the same. Alvim accepted his position as Secretary of Culture only after one of the previous title holders resigned when Bosonaro cut funding to LGBTQ+ artists.

Meanwhile, some Americans are taking the news with a soberingly dark sense of humor: “Former Brazilian culture minister Alvim should apply for immigration status here from @realDonaldTrump@GOP, and bosom buddy @LindseyGrahamSC. I’m sure that they will welcome another like-minded Nazi sympathizer into the USA,” one American tweeted. Others are saying that an elected official who has to paraphrase other speeches shouldn’t be in office anyway.

READ: This Is What Brazilians Think Of President Bolsonaro One Year Into His Presidency

This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

Entertainment

This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

Top Litoral / Facebook

A paraglider in Brazil was filmed as he lost control of his parachute and began to fall 150 feet. The man, identified as Marinquinhos, 35, got caught in gusts of strong winds as he was gliding along a beach over the Dream Beach Hotel in Itanhaém on the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He lived to tell the tale. After Marinquinhos collided into a building, the video recorder rushed to his side and called emergency services. The fallen paraglider survived with fractures to both of his legs and is expected to make a full recovery. He’s currently being treated for his injuries at a hospital in Brazil.

The exact reason for Marinquinhos’ literal downfall has not been determined yet. In extreme sports like paragliding, human error can often be fatal, but Marinquinhos lucked out.

Marinquinhos valiantly tried to maneuver away from the buildings and toward the beach but the winds got the best of him.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

In the video, you can see the paraglider being whipped around in the air as the parachute collapses, losing wind from its sails and the wind energy that kept him afloat. The video cuts short as he starts to fall, with the last frame of Marinquinhos’ body falling headfirst. The recorder drops the camera as the, what started out as idyllic, video of a paraglider soon becomes a nightmare. 

Later, images emerged of the paraglider’s parachute dangling from a second-story terrace as a group of people and medical personnel surround the extreme sports enthusiast. both of the man’s legs were stabilized in foam restraints as his wounds were bandaged on the scene. He managed to survive with relatively minor injuries, and enough of an adrenaline rush to probably last a lifetime, or at least until his broken bones heal. 

Statistically, paragliding isn’t any more dangerous than driving.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

It doesn’t get you from point A to B, nor does our culture necessitate the risk as it does commuting to work, but as scary as paragliding accidents seem, the fatal risk of paragliding isn’t higher than that of driving. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 4 out of every 1,000 Americans die in road crashes every single year. Meanwhile, in Germany, just 1 out of every 11,000 paraglider pilots suffer fatal injuries from the extreme sport, according to a New Zealand paragliding company. 

That said, a medical study conducted from August 2004 to September 2011 in Turkey found that of those patients who were hospitalized for paragliding injuries, more than 20% of them would succumb to those injuries. That’s a 1 in 5 chance that if you get into a paragliding accident, you will die (in Turkey). 

Paragliding was only just invented in the 1940s and popularized in the 1980s.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

Those who start out paragliding usually do so accompanied by a pilot using a special parachute. Typically, you’re also outfitted with an emergency parachute in the case that the specially designed paragliding parachute fails. The perks of paragliding is that it’s considered an aviation sport that doesn’t require any logistical coordination with an airport. The aforementioned study also found that “the number of accidents that usually cause high energy trauma and subsequent morbidity or mortality has tended to increase in this sport correlatively with the increasing number of flights.” That is, the more people often a person makes a paragliding jump, and the more experience they acquire, the more likely they’ll be injured. Objectively, it makes sense when thinking about sheer exposure to the danger, but not in terms of expertise.

Men and tourists are more likely to be injured by paragliding.

CREDIT: Небо и Экстрим / YOUTUBE

The Turkish study found that more than half of those injured and killed by paragliding were tourists, seeking an adrenaline-rushed bird’s-eye view of their travel destination. More so, nearly 85% of those hospitalized were men. the most stomach-lurching statistic is obvious: injuries and fatalities are higher when the paragliding event failed mid-air. Of course, that means a long, terrifying fall from the sky and a long road to recovery if you’re lucky. The average length of hospital stay for a paragliding injury is 18 days in Turkey. In America, that’s called guaranteed medical bankruptcy, unless you have a wealthy circle of GoFundMe friends or scribble “Take the jump, go vegan!” on your hand before the flight.

We don’t need a medical or social study to declare the obvious: our mamis do not approve of this sport.

READ: Freak Rollercoaster Accident In Mexico City Kills Two And Injured Dozens Others