At Least 68 Dead as Fire Erupts Amid Riot at Venezuela Jail
“At Least 68 Dead as Fire Erupts Amid Riot at Venezuela Jail” : At least 68 people were killed when a fire broke out during a rebellion in a prison in the northern city of Valencia, the attorney general said on Wednesday.
The announcement came hours after crowds of distressed family members gathered outside the facility, some crying and others facing cops with crash equipment. Authorities released little information throughout the day.
Tarek Saab, the lawyer general, said four prosecutors were delegated to research the reason and conditions. Everything except two of the casualties were men, he said.
“Venezuela Jail” : “What we want is justice,” a relative, María José Rondón, said in a video posted on Twitter. “We want to know everything that’s going on.”
The shooting was reported as the riot began, although the source and reasons were not clear, and the fire erupted during the shaking.
The facility, linked to a police station, had capacity for about 60 detainees, workers at the scene said. But Venezuela’s prisons are chronically overcrowded, with crumbling facilities and staff shortages.
“At Least 68 Dead as Fire at Venezuela Jail” : By 2015, the most recent year for which reliable data are available, 49,644 people were imprisoned in prisons designed to house 19,000 detainees, according to InSight Crime, a research organization last year. Another 33,000 people were held in temporary cells built for 5,000, he said.
“ 68 Dead as Fire Erupts Amid Riot at Venezuela Jail” : Armed gangs control life in many Venezuelan prisons and many people die in detention. More than 6,600 people have died in prisons in the country between 1999 and 2015, Human Rights Watch said, citing data from the Venezuelan Prison Observatory. Last year, a common grave with 15 bodies was found by construction workers in a prison in Guárico state.