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Four inmates were killed in a Cascavel, Brazil prison riot overnight. Two were beheaded and the other was tossed from atop a building, plummeting to his death. The cause of death of the fourth inmate is unclear, but a standoff is still ongoing.

The deaths occurred during a major riot as inmates aim to improve their living conditions, such as in-house medical care and better meals. The jail has only 928 beds, but holds 1,140 inmates, according to a report from AFP. The protest turned violent when one group of about thirty inmates took six fellow prisoners hostage. The hostage takers are also holding two prison guards and briefly captured a custodian. All of the hostages have been bound with rope around their necks and hands. 

Negotiations for improved conditions continued for 12 hours, during which the inmates destroyed much of the prison through arson

Though the rioters seek better conditions, Jairo Ferreira, the attorney of the prison guards union, told CGN and The Independent the uprising may be due to convictions that two particular, unnamed inmates received. Ferreira also reported the custodian, who was let go, was forced to hold one of the decapitated heads on his lap. 

The three prisoners who died have not yet been identified. The hostage takers have not been named, however, it seems they are affiliated with the prison gang "PCC." 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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