A prison riot in Venezuela has left at least 40 dead and 50 others injured, authorities said this week.
The Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVP) rights group provided the figures for the riot, which happened Friday afternoon at the Los Llanos prison center in Guanare city.
Inmates at Llanos Penitentiary Center in Guanare , near western Guanare city, were angry at a lack of food and water, according to the Venezuelan Prison Observatory.
Prisoners demanded that their relatives be allowed to deliver food to them. When guards refused, inmates started to protest.
The country’s prisons minister, Iris Varela, said the riot followed a failed escape attempt by inmates and that the prison’s director was among 75 people injured.
Riots in the unsanitary and overcrowded prisons of Latin America have been increasing as governments introduce containment measures to help slow the coronavirus outbreak.
Quarantine measures may mean that inmates cannot receive food brought by relatives, on which they may depend.
Parliamentary Deputy Maria Beatriz Martinez, who represents Portuguesa state where the prison is located, said: “At the moment we have been able to confirm 47 dead and 75 wounded.”
But opposition politician Maria Beatriz Martinez blamed a new ban on inmates receiving food from their relatives.
The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Twitter that it was “gravely concerned” about the riot.