Governor: Brazil gang rampage over
Death toll tops 80; all guard hostages freed
From CNN's Karl Penhaul and Journalist Tom Hennigan in Sao Paulo
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SAO PAULO, Brazil (CNN) -- Sao Paulo state Gov. Claudio Lembo announced late Monday that all prison rebellions across the state have ended and 200 prison guards held hostage over the weekend have been freed without injury.
At least 81 people were killed during a wave of attacks against police stations and uprisings in 65 of the state's 74 jails.
The attacks were led by the First Capital Command, known as PCC, its initials in Portuguese, officials said.
By Monday afternoon, state security forces said the 81 dead included 39 police officers, security forces and off-duty guards, four civilians caught in the cross-fire and 38 people the police described as "criminals." In addition, 34 security forces were wounded, along with 15 civilians.
Though the attacks on security officials dropped overnight Sunday into Monday, attacks on other targets increased. State security forces said at least 56 buses were set afire, and eight bank branches were firebombed. Ninety-one people have been arrested, police said.
Since Friday, police said, security forces have come under attack 180 times.
The rebellion apparently stemmed from a government plan to isolate PCC leaders in a new maximum-security facility deep in the interior of Sao Paulo state. The violence began when the transfer started.
The conflict is part of an ongoing battle of wills between Sao Paulo authorities and the PCC.
The PCC formed in the early 1990s as a prison gang and has grown into a major criminal enterprise, conducting such actions as bank robbery, drug trafficking, kidnapping and arms trafficking.
Brazil has separate prisons for college-educated convicts and for those who have a lesser education.
The rebellions have been limited to prisons for the less-educated, which are largely controlled by the gangs inside them.
Inmates in those prisons join the gangs to survive and are expected to pay dues to the gangs once they are released.
"The problem is money," said Harvard University's Dr. Biorn Maybury-Lewis, executive director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. "Well-heeled drug dealers, obviously, are in a position to corrupt officials in the prison system, police forces, security apparatus."
Corruption in Brazil, he told CNN, "is proving to be an intractable problem."
Officials worried the violence could spread to Rio de Janeiro, where 40,000 police were put on high alert and extra patrols were dispatched to slums where drug gang leaders live, police spokeswoman Thais Nunes said, The Associated Press reported.
The PCC staged a massive prison uprising in 2001 in which 19 inmates died, AP reported. In an attack on more than 50 police stations in November 2003, three police officers and two suspected gang members were killed and 12 people injured.
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