Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brazil - Inmates at the Urso Branco prison seized control of the facility amid riots Sunday. They are holding 200 people hostage. The majority of the hostages were visitors who where seeing family members for the Christmas holiday. The prisoners are demanding better conditions, an end to involuntary transfers out of the prison, that a specific state prosecutor be fired, and that human rights monitors be given access to the jail. Urso Branco has capacity for 360 inmates, but currently houses more than 1,000.