This year there has been a large number of violent death in the prisons located in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, especially in the Pedrinhas Prison Complex. The information released by the government reports that 47 inmates have lost their lives, 41 of them in the Pedrinhas prison. October was the deadliest month totaling 17 deaths. On October 10th the state of Maranhão declared a state of emergency in the prison in an effort to control the situation.
The Inter American Commission on Human Rights reminded the government that they must guarantee the safety of persons that are in the prison system. The authorities have a duty to ensure that there is safety in the prisons and that inmate’s human rights are protected. The duty to ensure safety extends to the responsibility to investigate and perform proper due diligence of the deadly events. Proper monitoring of these events is important to prevent the activity of criminal organization inside and outside of the prisons.