Brazil declares trial on Carandiru massacre null in shocking blow for justice

A Brazilian court’s decision to declare the trial and sentences against 74 police officers for a prison massacre in 1992 null is a shocking blow for justice and human rights, said Amnesty International.

The fact that 111 prisoners can be killed without anybody being held responsible after 24 years is not only shocking, but sends a terrifying message about the state of human rights in Brazil
Atila Roque, Director at Amnesty International Brazil.

The 1992 military operation in São Paulo’s Carandiru prison left more than 100 prisoners dead.

The authorities claimed the police were trying to break up a fight between prisoners who had seized control of the jail’s Block 9. But evidence uncovered later suggested that the military police had shot prisoners and later destroyed evidence which could have determined individual responsibility for the killings.

“The fact that 111 prisoners can be killed without anybody being held responsible after 24 years is not only shocking, but sends a terrifying message about the state of human rights in Brazil,” said Atila Roque, Director at Amnesty International Brazil.

“Carandiru illustrates everything that is wrong with Brazil’s prison system and with the country’s lack of justice for human rights violations committed in the context of public security operations. Unless serious steps are taken to improve prison conditions and ensure all those responsible for human rights violations face justice, we will inevitably see this tragedy repeated across the country for years to come.”