Brazil was again rocked by prison riots over the weekend, this time in the northeast state of Rio Grande do Norte, according to local news organizations. The state penitentiary was taken over by prisoners Saturday, leading to the massacre of 26 inmates as gang wars exploded. Police restored order Sunday, only to have a new riot break out Monday. Some 200 police and special services officers were working to restore order in the Rio Grande do Norte state penitentiary as of Monday evening. It was the third outburst of prison rioting in the north and northeast so far this year. According to officials, some 123 inmates have been killed in the incidents. Experts attribute the violence to a combination of overcrowding and tensions between rival gangs. President Michel Temer met with federal and state law enforcement and prison officials earlier this month, telling them prison administration is mainly an issue for state governments. However, he said states should seek federal help whenever necessary.
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