Process Opened To 12 People For Prison Riot


CARACAS (AP) – Venezuelan authorities have opened legal proceedings against 12 people for their relationship to the violent incidents that occurred last week in a prison in the center of the country that left 47 dead and 67 wounded.

Twelve people, including officials and leaders of gangs of prisoners, will be put on trial and charged for the events that occurred on May 1 at the Llanos Occidentals Penitentiary Center in the central town of Guanare, Portuguese state, the prosecutor announced Friday. General Tarek William Saab, without elaborating.

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That day, a protest by prisoners who demanded the entry of food brought by their relatives was registered in the Guanare prison that day and the situation culminated in a riot and armed confrontations between the inmates and guards, said opponents and humanitarian organizations.

The incident at the prison center left 47 dead and 67 wounded, Saab confirmed. Among the injured were the prison director, who suffered stab wounds, and a National Guard officer who suffered several injuries from the detonation of a grenade.

At the time of the riot in the Guanare prison, there was a great overcrowding because the center has a capacity of 750 inmates, but the population was 2,500 prisoners, reported the humanitarian organization Venezuelan Prison Observatory.

A year ago, a similar event was registered in a police center in Portuguesa, in which around twenty prisoners died during a riot that took place in the police station dungeons where several hundred detainees were found, some of them armed, who rejected the incursion of the police officers.

Venezuela has around thirty prisons and 500 police cells where the population, which reaches 110,000 inmates, faces serious problems of overcrowding and violence generated by gangs that internally control the prisons and traffic weapons and drugs.

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