EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Venezuela jailbreak attempt sparks blaze, 68 dead

VENEZUELA: A total of 68 people died yesterday (Mar 28) during an attempted jailbreak in Venezuela after a fire engulfed police holding cells in one of the worst tragedies in years in a notoriously violent and overcrowded prison system.

deathdisasterspolicehealthviolence
By AFP

Thursday 29 March 2018, 02:30PM


The blaze at the detention facility in Carabobo state is the latest in a series of deadly incidents in Venezuela's overcrowded jails. Photo: Laurence Chu / AFP

The blaze at the detention facility in Carabobo state is the latest in a series of deadly incidents in Venezuela's overcrowded jails. Photo: Laurence Chu / AFP

Attorney General Tarek William Saab gave the death toll in the pre-dawn mayhem at the police headquarters in northern Carabobo state, blaming a fire thought to have been started deliberately.

Carlos Nieto, head of a prisoners’ rights group called Una Ventana a la Libertad (A Window on Freedom), said that some prisoners burned to death and others choked after setting fire to mattresses and stealing a guard’s gun in an attempt to break out.

The dead included two women who were visiting the jail, the attorney general said, adding that four prosecutors have been named to investigate.

Photos taken by Nieto’s group showed the body of a man with burns and firefighters trying to put out flames.

Relatives of those being kept in the detention centre tried to force their way in. After one officer was injured by a tossed stone, the crowd was dispersed by police firing tear gas.

A video posted on Twitter showed dozens of people demanding information in front of police guarding the site. Women were seen crying.

“I am a desperate mother. My son has been here a week. They have not given any information,” Dora Blanco told local media.

Local news correspondents wrote on Twitter that the facility was tense yesterday night.

Venezuela’s prisons suffer from dire overcrowding and a shortage of basic supplies, struggling under the deepening economic crisis that is gripping the once-wealthy oil-producing country.

Because of the lack of space in jails, convicts are often sent to police holding cells like the ones in Carabobo, meant to be used as temporary pens for suspects facing charges or court hearings, where detainees are supposed to spend a maximum of 48 hours.

Nieto’s association estimated that the temporary detention centres were overfilled by five times their capacity.

And what happened yesterday in Carabobo is not an isolated incident, he added.

“All the police stations in Venezuela are facing similar or worse conditions of overcrowding, lack of food and disease,” he said.

The association said 65 people died last year in the holding cells due to violence, malnutrition or tuberculosis.

Two weeks ago, 58 detainees escaped holding cells on Margarita Island, a favoured tourist spot, after punching a hole in their facility’s wall. They were all soon recaptured.

In August 2017, a riot left 37 dead and 14 wounded in police cells in the southern state of Amazonas, while an April 2017 clash between rival gangs left 12 dead and 11 injured in the Puente Ayala prison in the eastern city of Barcelona.

A month before that, the remains of 14 people were found in a mass grave in the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, in San Juan de Los Morros in the country’s centre.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Body found floating off Kata Beach

The headline should not be about body found floating...the truth is that another person died due to ...(Read More)


Water shut-offs announced for Wichit on Aug 16

No difference shut off or not. Need to order truck to bring water because not enough water in pipe...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

Don't worry about it...all the correct people have been paid off and justice has been done. ...(Read More)


Phuket officials concerned over tourist drug users, ‘epidemic’ in Patong

Wrong focus, target supply not demand. Under 30s can bearly walk down Bangla at night now without pi...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

Yeah, great idea to focus on more shopping...get these stupid Chinese off the beach so Phuket offici...(Read More)


Hope floats to raise the Phoenix

If they would have called in assistance from European or American experts, this boat would have been...(Read More)


Body found floating off Kata Beach

Chalk up another...probably another Chinese, as nothing is being done to keep an eye on them and kee...(Read More)


Phuket officials concerned over tourist drug users, ‘epidemic’ in Patong

What was the VG thinking? How can he mention Phuket quality tourists in a context with drug user.Eve...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

3,000 MORE parking spaces, oh my god this is horrendous. The greed of these developers knows no boun...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

how is it there are billions to invest in shopping malls, but no money to build affordable houses fo...(Read More)