The Scandal of the Brazilian Medieval Prison System

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Myrian SANTOS, UERJ, Brazil
The aim of this presentation is to analyze the contrast between the theatrical media spectacles that have taken place around the demolition of Brazilian penitentiary buildings and the persistence of a system that is characterized by systematic violence. In 1962, the deactivation of a prison located in Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, was largely covered by the media. In 1994, another penitentiary system also located in Ilha Grande was destroyed by implosion. Films were made about this event. In 2002, the Carandiru prison complex, in which more than one hundred inmates were shot by the police in what is called “The Carandiru massacre”, was destroyed by kilos of dynamite with wide press coverage. Finally, in 2010, the Frei Caneca penitentiary complex, one of the oldest and biggest of this kind, was also destroyed with dynamite. The images were transmitted by major newspapers, radio and television. While politicians and the press create an illusion of a new beginning, allowing the forgetting of past situations, atrocities that go beyond our imagination continue to be the reality in the Brazilian penitentiary system.