La Oferta

September 22, 2023

10 Dead in Venezuela prison riot, military says

Caracas, May 18 (EFE).- A prison riot in the northwestern Venezuelan state of Lara left 10 dead and 25 injured, a military spokesperson told EFE Friday.

The violence, which erupted Thursday afternoon, was sparked by the inmates’ displeasure with a new prison regime inside the Fenix Community Penitentiary, the spokesperson said.

Some of the prisoners “used firearms and subdued and killed two guards; they also took hostages and wounded them with sharp objects,” the source said, adding that “they later clashed with security personnel.”

Eight other people who have not yet been identified but presumably were inmates also died in the riot, while 25 others – including the prison’s deputy director, Rigoberto Avila – were injured, the spokesperson said.

But the director of the NGO Una Ventana a la Libertad (A Window on Freedom), Carlos Nieto, told EFE Friday that 11 people had died and 28 were injured.

He also criticized the lack of information provided by authorities.

Relatives of one of the inmates at that prison, lawmaker Gilber Caro, expressed their concern about the riot and said they had received no information about him.

“It’s been more than 72 days without knowing anything about my brother Gilber. We fear for his life. We hold (Prison Services Minister) Iris Varela responsible for whatever may happen to Gilber. We demand to see him!” reads a message on the Twitter account of Caro, a lawmaker with the opposition Popular Will party.