A violent outbreak at the Los Llanos prison in Venezuela has claimed more than a dozen lives or possibly more.
The riot broke out on May 1st. While the prison officials never stated the reason for it, the Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVP) claims that the inmates were exhausted by the inhumane conditions. They were also outraged by the new no-visitors policy caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The AFP news agency quotes Carolina Giron of the OVP: “The prisoners are upset that they are not allowed visits, and they do not have water or food. The majority of them are malnourished and have tuberculosis.”
The Venezuelan National Guard reported that inmates tried to break out from the main entrance and were met with bullets. The confrontation has resulted in 17 official deaths and 9 injuries. The prison’s director was wounded in the back and a lieutenant was hurt by grenade shrapnel.
The disturbance ceased after one of the officers negotiated with the prisoners via a megaphone.
According to the OVP, the wounded inmates were later transferred the Dr Miguel Oraa Hospital in the city of Guanare where the prison is located. The human rights organizations called the official information about the riot “dubious” and demanded a proper investigation.