The First Capital Command, a notorious Brazilian criminal gang unleashed a third wave of attacks against police, bringing to at least 77 the number of people killed in what one official called the deadliest assault of its kind in Brazil’s history.
São Paulo state government officials reported at least 115 separate attacks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that killed at least 37 police officers, the girlfriend of one of them, two passers-by and 38 inmates and gang members.
On Sunday, dozens of new prison rebellions also broke out, with 80 uprisings under way across São Paulo state. Inmates were holding more than 229 prison guards hostage.
This Monday, May 15, there were reports that the death toll had risen to 77 and that at least 61 public buses had been burned by bandits in the city of São Paulo.
TV images showed the buses engulfed in flames, while passengers were ordered out of the vehicles before bandits set them ablaze.
Enio Lucciola, spokesman for the São Paulo State Public Safety Department, said the attacks and prison rebellions, planned by the First Capital Command, known by its Portuguese initials PCC, "were the most vicious and deadliest attacks on public security forces that have ever taken place in Brazil."
The rebellious inmates, however, have not made any demands nor have they harmed any of their hostages, said Jorge de Souza, a press spokesman of the São Paulo Prison Affairs Department.