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Brazil: The Deficient Prison Systems of the Americas

Categories: Latin America, Brazil, Honduras, Film, Human Rights

The Latin Americanist sums up the recent events concerning the penitentiary system in Latin America: a fire that killed hundreds in a prison in Honduras [1], prison riots in Mexico and escaped inmates in Perú. These events may be causing other countries to re-analyze their prison systems, but will this turn into meaningful reforms, or more of the same tragedies?

In their post Chronicle of a Tragedy Foretold [2] they include the following footage from a documentary on the problems within the penitentiary system in Brazil, including overcrowding. The video is in Portuguese with English subtitles.

Under the Brazilian Sun is a documentary directed and produced by Adele Reeves and Leandro Vilaca. It tells the story of the prison system from all possible sides, interviewing current and former prisoners, their families, guards, police officers, heads of prisons, human rights groups and others. From their documentary trailer [3] description:

Not only is this film a must-see to because of its honest and brutal portrayal of the prison system in Brazil, but also because it is an in-depth analysis of why and how this is happening along with a look at what can be done to change these conditions for the future.

The documentary is available through YouTube, following is the first part: [4]