January 5, 2017 / 3:59 PM / a year ago

Brazil justice minister calls for more cooperation to battle arms, drugs

SAO PAULO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes said Thursday the government would increase cooperation with neighboring drug-producing countries in a bid to slow the flow of narcotics and arms across its border.

Moraes was giving details about the government efforts to create a new national security plan just days after the country’s worst prison uprising in two decades resulted in the deaths of 56 inmates at the hands of fellow prisoners.

The minister said the government would build five new maximum-security federal prisons - more than doubling the current number - and release funds to improve Brazil’s woeful penitentiary system. Moraes also called for reforms to laws that put non-violent offenders in prisons for long periods, adding to severe overcrowding. (Reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Bill Trott)

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