At least 17 dead in Venezuela prison riot: military
Caracas: At least 17 inmates were killed Friday in a riot at a prison in western Venezuela, military authorities reported.
Inmates at the Los Llanos prison in Guanare staged "a disturbance of public order … resulting in 17 deaths and nine injuries" according to a military report. The prison's director was among the wounded, it said.
The military gave no reason for the riot, saying inmates had attacked prison officials during an attempt to mediate with their leader, wounding the prison director in the back.
A prisoners rights group said the Los Llanos Penitentiary was massively overcrowded.
It was built to house 750 inmates but currently holds 2,500, said Carolina Giron of the Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVP).
"The prisoners are upset that they are not allowed visits and they do not have water or food," because of coronavirus quarantine measures in force since March 16, Giron told AFP.
"The vast majority of the prisoners are malnourished and have tuberculosis," she said. OVP documented 97 deaths in Venezuelan prisons in 2019, 70 percent of which were due to health reasons. - AFP