Venezuela Prison Fire Leaves 68 Dead; Waiting Families Tear-gassed

Riots and fire in the cells of a jail in Venezuela in the city of Valencia killed 68 people on Wednesday. Relatives waiting for news outside the prison were dispersed with tear gas as some came up against police officers wielding riot shields.

One mother present outside the jail told local media “My son has been here a week. I have not been given any information”.

While another distraught mother Aida Parra said “I  don’t know if my son is dead or alive. They have told me nothing”.

The fire erupted during a riot at the fail, the attorney general said.

When the news of fire broke, anguished family members gathered outside the facility, some weeping and others facing off with police officers.

Officials released little information throughout the day.

Armed gangs control life in many Venezuelan prisons and many inmates die in detention.

Last year, a mass grave holding 15 bodies was found by construction workers at a prison in the state of Guarico.

 

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