At least 40 prisoners in Brazil were found strangled to death on Monday in four jails in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus, where a fight between rival prison gangs resulted in 15 dead the day before, authorities said. A federal task force is being sent to Manaus in an effort to halt the violence. Prison clashes often spread rapidly in Brazil, where drug gangs have de facto control over nearly all jails. Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has vowed to regain control of the country’s prisons – along with building many more jails.
School textbooks in Brazil will be rewritten after its education minister denied a 1964 military coup, prompting accusations of historical revisionism. Ricardo Vélez Rodriguéz told the Valor Económico magazine that “there will be progressive changes [in textbooks] to the extent that a wider version of history is rescued.” The announcement comes days after a judge in Brazil barred far-Right president Jair Bolsonaro from publicly celebrating the anniversary of the 1964 coup that ousted the democratically elected government of João Goulart.
Two former students opened fire at a Brazilian school on Wednesday and killed at least five teenagers as well as two school officials before committing suicide in an attack that police said was inspired by the 1999 Columbine massacre in the United States. Ten people, including the two attackers, were killed in total, Sao Paulo police said. The students who died were boys mostly 15 and 16 years old. Police identified the assailants as Guilherme Taucci Monteiro, 17, and Luiz Henrique de Castro, 25. The 17-year-old was the leader and main planner, an investigator said.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has provoked controversy by posting an obscene video of two revellers at Carnival, saying he wanted to reveal the truth about the festival. The clip posted on Twitter shows two men engaging in sex acts on top of a taxi shelter during a street party. The far-right leader suggested such scenes were becoming normal. Mr Bolsonaro, a deeply divisive figure who has made racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks but was a clear winner in last year’s election, was the focus of much criticism in many Carnival celebrations across Brazil.
Brazilian rescuers searched into the night on Sunday for hundreds of people missing after a burst mining dam triggered a deadly mudslide, as the death toll rose to 58 and was expected to keep climbing more than two days after the disaster. The collapsed dam at Vale SA’s Corrego do Feijao mine buried mining facilities and nearby homes in the town of Brumadinho, killing dozens and leaving the community in shock.
Brazil’s first and only openly gay congressman has announced that he is leaving his job – and the country – after receiving death threats. Wyllys, who was re-elected in October and had been set to begin a third term in February, was a close friend of Marielle Franco, the gay Rio councilwoman who was shot and killed along with her driver in March. His departure is likely to add to fears among Brazil’s LGBT community that homophobia is set to rise even further under the government of president Jair Bolsonaro, who has won notoriety for his overt homophobia.
Jair Bolsonaro has announced Brazil’s “liberation from socialism, inverted values, the bloated state and political correctness” after being sworn in as the country’s 42nd president. Bolsonaro, a former army captain who served seven undistinguished terms as a member of Brazil’s lower house, was until this year regarded as a marginal figure known for his outbursts against leftists and LGBT people. He rode a wave of righteous anger to power provoked by sweeping corruption scandals and economic recession that Bolsonaro blamed on the leftist Workers’ party that ran Brazil for 13 years.
Brazilian celebrity faith healer Joao Teixeira de Faria known as ‘John of God’ turned himself into authorities on Sunday in Goias after being accused of sexually abusing more than 300 women. De Faria turned himself in after failing to comply with his initial arrest warrant deadline on Saturday. De Faria denies all allegations.
Five people were killed and others wounded when a gunman opened fire in a Catholic cathedral near the city of San Paulo, Brazil. The shooting took place near the end of a midday service. The gunman killed himself before police were able to arrest him. The motive for the attack remains unclear.
Brazil’s new far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro appointed anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro to the position of justice minister. Moro oversaw ‘Operation Car Wash’ which was accused of unfairly targeting left-wing politicians. US national security adviser John Bolton said on Thursday that Bolsonaro is a ‘like-minded,’ grouping his election with other rightist leaders.