Riots in the Venezuelan prison leave dozens dead; wounded warden

CARACAS: A riot broke out in a prison in central Venezuela on Friday, killing at least 40 people and injuring 50 more, including a national officer who was injured in an explosion and the warden, who suffered a knife injury, they said. The authorities.

The upheaval at the Llanos Center began with an inmate protest demanding that their family members be allowed to deliver food to them and then an armed confrontation between guards and police broke out, the lawmaker told The Associated Press.

The national guard officer was injured in a grenade explosion, said Martínez, who had access to a preliminary report prepared by the city's security forces. The prison is located in the city 450 kilometers (280 miles) southwest of the capital of Caracas .

Venezuela's prison services minister, Iris Varela, confirmed the riot and told the local newspaper Ultimas News that a group of inmates attacked officers who were on duty outside the prison.

The warden was injured by at least one knife-wielding inmate, Varela said.

An oil nation that was once rich, Venezuela is affected by a deepening political and economic crisis. Street violence is common in the nation that has had nearly 5 million residents fleeing in recent years as public services crumble.

Venezuela has approximately 30 prisons and 500 prisons that can house around 110,000 inmates. Human rights officials say the prisons are violent and heavily overcrowded, with gangs that control drug and arms trafficking.

According to the human rights group Venezuelan Prison, the Guanare prison was built to house 750 inmates, but is jammed beyond capacity with 2,500 inmates.

A similar disturbance occurred a year ago in a nearby jail also in the state of Portugal, where 29 inmates died in a police jail that housed several hundred detainees. Violence erupted when armed inmates opposed officers entering the jail.

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