The western Venezuelan state of Portuguesa witnessed a violent prison riot which resulted in 46 deaths and 60 injuries, as per reported by Aljazeera.
The director of the Venezuelan Observatory of prisons, Baetriz Giron said 46 bodies had been identified after the incident at the Los Llanos penitentiary.
As per the statement of the country’s prisons minister, Iris Varela, the incident was a result of an escape attempt. The report of the prison director being shot and wounded was also confirmed by him, but the number of death count has not yet been released officially by the government.
Maria Beatriz Martinez, the opposition lawmaker from Portuguesa opined that the prison riot is the result of the ban on the common practice in Venezuela of family members bringing food during visitation.
The restrictions on visits are part of the nation’s effort to tackle the spread of coronavirus in the prison. Venezuela has, to date, 335 coronavirus cases and 10 death count associated with the virus.
Venezuela is going through a deep political and economic crisis, with street violence and people rebelling against President Nicola Maduro. There is a state of armed rebellion by the people who see Maduro as a usurper. The condition has been worsened by the sanctions the US has imposed in the start of the year and now with the decline in oil prices, the economy is shattered.
The country has become more vulnerable to the Coronavirus pandemic since the people’s trust in the government has been greatly reduced.
As per the reports of human rights group Venezuelan Prison Observatory, the Guanare prison holds the capacity of only 750 inmates but is jammed with 2500 inmates, which makes a potential hotspot for coronavirus pandemic.
A similar riot had occurred a year ago in a nearby jail in Portuguesa, where 29 inmates died.
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