Photo: VENEZUELA: Six Die in Amazonas Prison Fight
Six inmates were killed and two more were injured Tuesday in a brawl at a prison in the southwestern Venezuelan state of Amazonas, Gov. Liborio Guarulla said.
The prisoners, divided into gangs, fought for internal control of the penal center, Guarulla told reporters in Puerto Ayacucho, the state capital.
The governor recalled a similar incident last year that left eight inmates dead, and said that “owning guns is permanent” in that lockup.
So far this year, Guarulla said, “there have been at least 10 more killings in different incidents of violence” inside the jail.
Local media said that guns were used in the fight as well as knives.
They also reported that dozens of the inmates’ family members gathered outside the prison to learn the victims’ identities.
In mid-September a fight in a jail in the northwestern state of Zulia officially left 16 prisoners dead.
Two weeks later, Penitentiary Services Minister Iris Varela and Zulia Gov. Francisco Arias announced the discovery of an arsenal of 105 weapons hidden in the walls and floors of the jail.
The independent Venezuelan Prisons Observatory in August published a report on the first six months of the year saying that 289 prisoners lost their lives during that period in the country’s 30 or so prisons, which were built to hold 16,539 inmates but now have some 53,000.