Two Inmates Dead, Hostages Taken in Riot at Peruvian Prison

LIMA – Two inmates died while two others suffered gunshot wounds in a riot at a prison in the northeastern Peruvian city of Chachapoyas, where several guards are still being held as hostages, authorities said Friday.

Congressman Jose Maslucan confirmed the number of dead and wounded on Canal N television, after saying that he thought that there were five hostages in the jail.

It was still not clear how many officials were being held as hostages, since at dawn Justice Minister Aurelio Pastor said that the rioters were holding eight prison employees.

But the Web site of the daily El Comercio said later that there were six hostages, while RPP radio reported five.

A high-level commission led by Deputy Justice Minister Gerardo Castro has now gone inside the penitentiary to find out what the 400 rioting inmates are demanding, according to RPP.

The prisoners demand speedier trials and that the jail be administered by the police and not by the prisons service.

Several of the convicts were up on the prison roof shouting vehement tirades, while outside police stationed a heavy guard around the prison, El Comercio said.

The newspaper said the rioters were highly dangerous prisoners who were brought there several days ago from other jails in the neighboring region of San Martin.
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