One year after prison riot, torture prevention mechanism visits Roraima

Conectas will participate in the mission to monitor the prison situation in the state

One year after the prison riots in the states of Amazonas, Rio Grande do Norte and Roraima that resulted in the death of 126 people and the disappearance of another 72, the MNPCT (National Mechanism to Combat and Prevent Torture) and the CNPCT (National Committee to Combat and Prevent Torture) will visit the three states to monitor the measures adopted by the prison service in response to the 2017 riots.

The mission will begin this Tuesday, February 20, and it will hold meetings with local authorities and representatives of government bodies and also visit the prison facilities. On Thursday, February 22, there will be a public hearing in the Roraima state capital of Boa Vista to debate what was observed during the mission to the state.

Henrique Apolinário, a lawyer from the Institutional Violence program at Conectas, will take part in the mission to Roraima, since the organization is a member of both the Mechanism and the Committee. The CNDH (National Human Rights Council) will also participate in the activities. “The mission has the primary role of inspecting the prison facilities to identify the violations that are being committed by the State and the oversight and reparation mechanisms that need to be implemented. This follow-up is important to avoid future tragedies like the one that occurred in early 2017,” said Apolinário.

The Mechanism has already visited the states in the past, including in 2017 shortly after the prison riots. Back then, it recommended the creation of State-Level Committees and Mechanisms to Combat and Prevent Torture. This time, the visits are intended to make progress in the debate and in the proposal of common strategies to combat and prevent torture.


In the early days of 2017, prisons in northern and northeastern Brazil were the stage of riots that resulted in numerous deaths and escapes. Before the riots, the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo, in Roraima, had been visited by national and international organizations. In 2014, for example, the Roraima State Public Defender’s Office requested precautionary measures from the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) to protect the life of the prisoners at the facility. In the most recent visits to the state, after the riots, the MNPCT found that most of the problems it had previously identified still persisted, namely appalling infrastructure conditions and overcrowding.

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