Natal Brazil

Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Penitentiary is demolished

Yesterday, the Penitentiary João Chaves was demolished; the inmates were transferred to other prisional units. Soon, the State Government will start the construction of a Cultural Center, which will be the biggest in Rio Grande do Norte.

The penitentiary started to be built in 1953, but was finished only in 1968. At the time, the Avenida João Medeiros Filho was inhabited only by the militaries who guarded the prison; nowadays, the avenue is one of the busiest in the North Zone of Natal.
During the 1970s, years of dictatorship in Brazil, the prison was occupied by political prisoners. In the 1980s and 1990s, the most dangerous criminals were sent there; several rebelions occurred; many violent prisoners used the rebelions to kill their enemies. Because of this, the prison was called Cauldron of Devil (Caldeirão do Diabo) by the population.

In another action to bring more progress to the Northern Zone of Natal (the southern zone, where Ponta Negra, Forte dos Reis Magos, Historic city are located, is still the richest area of Natal), the Government will create a cultural space, which will include theaters, cinemas and a shopping center. The place is already baptized as Cauldron of Culture.

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