At least 37 were killed as a prison in southern Venezuela exploded into rebellion, authorities said on Wednesday. The death toll at the facility in the jungle town of Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas state, was first reported by the advocacy group Venezuelan Prison Observatory and later confirmed by the Interior Ministry.
The violence began when inmates seized the facility, and security forces were sent in to retake it.
Guards were met with gunfire and explosions when they tried to restore order. The Interior Ministry said 14 security officers were among the wounded, although none were killed.
The Puerto Ayacucho prison is a small one, and officials atypically said it was not overcrowded, holding only some 100 inmates. But most of the inmates there are being held without charge under “preventative detention”—a practice that prisoners’ rights groups have long protested as abusive.
Nieto told AFP news agency that under Venezuelan law, “preventative detention” can only last 48 hours before detainees are formally charged, brought before a judge or released. Yet many of those at the Puerto Ayacucho facility have been held for years.
Many of Venezuela’s prisons suffer from overcrowding and are dominated by criminal gangs that traffic in drugs and weapons, continuing to run their criminal networks even beyond prison walls. The country’s prison system, built to hold around 16,000, is now estimated to house some 50,000.
The practice of preventative detention has been harshly criticized across Latin America, from Bolivia to Mexico. A steady stream of violent conflagrations in recent years are pressing evidence of a dire prison crisis in Latin America—fueled by the hemispheric War on Drugs, which even anti-imperialist Venezuela has really not broken from.
FBI Data Shows Cannabis Arrests are on the Rise for Second Year in a Row
Activists in Oregon Fight for the Public Consumption of Cannabis on 2019 Ballot
Thai Police Give Researchers 220 Pounds Of Seized Marijuana
Police in Massachusetts Make Super Troopers Reference After Recovering Two Pounds of Weed
Malaysian Court Sentences Man to Death for Distributing Free Cannabis Oil
Canadian Dispensary Clerk Fights off Three Burglars With a Giant Bong
Hot Pot Products: 4 Must-Haves for Cannabis Cultivators
Study Suggests CBD May Have Antipsychotic Effect in High-Risk Individuals
Guides7 days ago
What Do The Colors of Marijuana Mean?
Celebrities6 days ago
Kristen Bell Opens Up About Weekly Cannabis Use and Exploring Other Drugs
Strains5 days ago
9 Colorful Weed Strains To Brighten Your Day
News5 days ago
First Clinical Trial of MDMA Treatment for Autistic Adults Sees Success
News6 days ago
New Report Says Concentrates are the Fast Growing Favorite Among Consumers
News5 days ago
Study Finds Magic Mushrooms Could Aid in Smoking Cessation
Dispensaries5 days ago
First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Set to Open in Brooklyn By End of Year
Guides6 days ago
Top 10 Strains to Pair with a Rose Blunt