Venezuela's Uribana jail riot highlights the need for proper training of security forces assigned to prisons and addressing overcrowding by bringing prisoners to trial, writes WOLA.
Misael Castro/El Informador/AP
• David Smilde is the moderator of WOLA's blog: Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights. The views expressed are the author's own.
On Friday Jan. 25, an attempt by the Venezuelan National Guard to occupy and search the Uribana prison in Lara state resulted in 55 deaths (including one guardsman and two visiting evangelical pastors) and 88 injured.
The local newspaper in Lara state said the authorities promised that the procedure [to disarm prisoners] would take place peacefully. However, the first shots were heard at 10:05 AM, and at 10:30 the first ambulance with victims arrived at the local hospital. The firefight lasted several more hours and [by the next day] the authorities said they did not have full control of the prison.
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