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Brooklyn, New York (VBS.TV) -- Throughout the 1990s, São Paulo's House of Detention contained about 8,000 of Latin America's most violent criminals. Better known as Carandiru, it was once the largest prison on the continent. On October 2, 1992, a massive fight broke out in the Brazilian complex among the prisoners. It ultimately resulted in 111 inmate deaths.
That day, there were 84 state military police officers present, and 102 bullets were fired.
The nine guys who weren't shot in their vital organs got knifed, but the cops (none of whom were killed, by the way) swore that the prisoners were already carved up by the time guards arrived.
In the archival images we collected, we see one inmate partially decapitated and another with a hole in his chest the size of a tennis ball. That doesn't exactly scream self-defense. (The footage is graphic, so be warned.)
Ronaldo Mazotto de Lima worked at the prison for over a decade. He was also one of the first people to witness the aftermath of the carnage that's now referred to as the Carandiru Massacre.
After the jail's destruction, Mazotto de Lima transferred to a minimum-security prison in Serra Azul. He brought more than his experience to the new job.
He also took along some of the only surviving evidence of the massacre: More than 2,000 photos, 300 personal effects and 10 hours of grisly video footage.
It was all taken shortly after the violence subsided, and he wants to be sure that history doesn't forget what he witnessed. So we asked him to help us understand.
An edited version of this article originally appeared in Vice magazine.