According to reports, over a thousand inmates escaped from at least four different prisons in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil this week after local officials canceled their temporary exits because of fears they could bring the new coronavirus back with them. Inmates were reportedly enraged over the restrictions imposed on them, which resulted in them to riot and escape in masses.

Brazil media said over 1,000 inmates initially escaped, but roughly 174 of them have been recaptured. Footage surfaced online showing hundreds of men running out of a prison in the city of Mongaguá, which you can see for yourself (below).

The Sao Paulo state prison authority said “acts of insubordination” had taken place at the jails after it postponed the Easter prison break, which is one of the five annual breaks for prisoners in semi-open regimes who work in the day because of coronavirus. “The measure was necessary because the benefit would include more than 34,000 convicts of the semi-open regime who, returning to prison, would have high potential to install and spread the coronavirus in a vulnerable population, generating health risks to servers and custodians,” the prison department said.

For what its worth, semi-open prisons in the state have no armed guards, São Paulo’s state penitentiary administration department said, adding that it is “taking all the due measures to remedy the problem.” So it shouldn't come as a surprise to see the inmates try and escape at a time like this.

[Via]