So far, none of the convicts has been recaptured and authorities are continuing to search.
The regional prison Doctor Ênio Pessoa Guerra, in Limoeiro, has capacity for 550 prisoners, but currently houses more than twice as many (1971), a situation that is already common in different prison institutions in Brazil, where overcrowding, the poor conditions of the facilities and the power of criminal factions inside are the biggest problems of the system.
Also on Sunday, 34 prisoners escaped from a prison in Foz do Iguaçu, near the Brazilian border with Argentina and Paraguay, in the south of the country.
Official figures indicate that about 750,000 prisoners are housed in the country’s prisons, 76% more than their capacity.
The emergence of the new coronavirus, which has already made more than 1.7 million infected and close to 68,000 dead across the country, further complicated the situation in Brazilian prisons.
The National Penitentiary Department (Depen), a state agency responsible for the prison population, accounted for about 4,900 covid-19 infections and 62 deaths in prisons across Brazil, according to the latest official balance sheet.