Mississippi Digital Magazine

Escaping Brazil's Deadliest Gangs

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In the middle of the most violent regional capital in Brazil, a brutal gang war is being fought over control of the drug supply routes of the Northwestern Amazon region. Poverty and coercion force many young men into a life of crime where the only ways to escape are incarceration or death.

But amidst the carnage, there is a glimmer of hope – the “91” is a group of former gang lords turned pastors, who offer salvation to gang members who want to leave the criminal life. Their standing in the gang community, forged out of years of service and hard-fought respect, mean that only they can vouch for criminals looking to trade crime for the path of God.

By recording videos of these gangsters in repentance – that follow a tight script and are then shared with the higher ranks of the gangs for approval – they are saving hundreds of lives that Brazilian institutions overlook. This is the story of the “91”.

Directing and DOP: Mauricio Monteiro Filho and Avener Prado
Soundtrack: Gustavo Monteiro
Editing: Mauricio Monteiro Filho and Diego Arvate
Producers: Charlie Rosser and Matt Shea

Check out the VICE World News playlist for global reporting you won’t find elsewhere: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw613M86o5o4S3BXgi3bCiIVuopQxIMgV

Watch more like this:

The Rise of Brazil’s Biggest Prison Gang
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI5QLqYcZ0E

The World’s Most Dangerous Drug Wars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2YfG7NKvoU

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