CARACAS – Sixteen inmates were killed and 35 others hurt in four days of armed confrontations at a prison in northern Venezuela, prison service chief Consuelo Cerrada said Thursday.
“The authorities peacefully took over” the Tocoron prison Thursday morning, she told reporters outside the penitentiary.
She said all but six of the people injured during the riot, which began on Monday, were given medical attention in nearby health care centers and have already been returned to the prison.
Cerrada said that the authorities have begun an appropriate investigation into the causes and circumstances of the violence, and she asked the inmates’ relatives who have remained outside the prison since Monday “to stay calm.”
Clashes among inmates in Venezuelan prisons are frequent and have resulted in 221 deaths and 449 people injured so far this year, according to the independent Venezuelan Prison Observatory.
The Venezuelan prison system is made up of 29 prisons and 16 internment facilities that operate as prisons, which altogether have a normal capacity to house about 15,000 inmates but where some 40,000 prisoners are currently incarcerated, according to the Observatory. EFE