Venezuela prison gang: 16 inmates killed in bloody battle
Wednesday 18 September 2013
At least 15 people have been killed in a bloody battle among inmates, some of whom were armed, in a prison in Venezuela.
The country's Prisons Minister, Iris Varela, told reporters that a 16th person was killed in a different part of the jail in unrelated violence.
The battle in Sabaneta prison in the city of Maracaibo on Monday appeared to have been for control of the prison grounds, Ms Varela said.
A number of the inmates were reportedly beheaded and others dismembered, according to the Venezuela Prison Observatory (VPO), a non-governmental organisation.
Ms Varela called for an end to the violence, which began on Monday night. “We don't want even one more death. Enough of the violence,” she said.
The interiors of Venezuela's prisons are run by rival bands of inmates, with corrupt guards thought to be selling them weapons and drugs.
The VPO says that last year was the system's worst in 14 years, with 591 inmates killed and 1,132 injured.
The Observatory's director Humberto Prado said that this latest incident made Sabaneta the most violent prison in the country, with 69 people reportedly killed inside the jail this year.
In 1994 the facility was the site of one the South American nation's biggest prison disasters when over 100 inmates died in a fire thought to have been caused by a group of prisoners seeking revenge on a rival gang, according the BBC.
Venezuela's prison system is incredibly overcrowded, with 3,700 inmates housed in Sabaneta - a facility designed to hold 700 people.
Mr Prado told the AFP news agency that 80 percent of prisons in the country were run by armed inmates, leaving security forces virtually powerless.
A relative of a prisoner who wished to remain anonymous told the Associated Press that she was disappointed with the lack of government response.
“When will these massacres cease? We want the government's presence in Sabaneta National Prison. More and more dead and Minister Varela does not visit this prison,” she said.
Ms Varela has announced an official investigation into the killings and pledged to visit the jail today.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...