Brazil inmates release a few hostages
Some women, children let go; hundreds of captives still held
December 31, 1997
Web posted at: 1:43 p.m. EST (1843 GMT)
SOROCABA, Brazil (CNN) -- Mutineering inmates on Wednesday released about 15 women and 20 children among their estimated 700
, making authorities hopeful that a three-day standoff at a prison near Sao Paulo was ending.
The former captives, many weeping and clearly exhausted, walked out of the prison to the cheers of waiting relatives.
"This is a good sign that the prisoners have given up but we will have to see how quickly the flow (of hostages) goes," police Col. Jairo Paes de Lira said outside the
Sorocaba Detention Center
, 50 miles (80 km) west of Sao Paulo.
Before the release, authorities said 230 children, 368 women and 88 men, all relatives of the prisoners, were being held along with 16 prison guards.
Paes de Lira said negotiations were continuing to free the remaining hostages.
Reuters contributed to this report.