Escaping Brazil’s Deadliest Gangs

Production: VICE News
Country: Brazil
Year: 2022
Duration: 13'
Directed by: Mauricio Monteiro Filho, Avener Prado

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” are 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”.

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