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Inmates erupt against each other in Venezuelan jail Printer friendly page Print This
By Staff Writers, NewsEncounter and Paul Richard Harris, Axis of Logic
Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan officials say at least 15 inmates were killed on September 16 in a bloody battle among inmates, some of them armed, in a prison in the country’s west.

Prisons chief Iris Varela told reporters Tuesday that a 16th person was killed in a different part of the prison in unrelated violence. Varela said the battle in Sabaneta prison in the city of Maracaibo on Monday appeared to have been for control of the prison grounds.
Similar to prisons in many countries, Sabaneta is overcrowded. And, as in other countries, life in the prisons is often dominated by rival bands of inmates, with corrupt guards selling them weapons and drugs.

The nongovernmental Venezuelan Prison Observatory says that last year was the system’s worst in 14 years with 591 inmates killed and 1,132 injured.

The Maduro government has taken steps to improve conditions in the country's prisons but Maduro, like his predecessor Hugo Chávez, acknowledges the problem is immense and will take some time to address.

It is also noted that irresponsible reporting of this situation in the foreign press has led to vastly inflated numbers of dead and injured being touted by media outlets unfriendly to the Venezuelan government.

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