Inmates’ Relatives Occupy 2 Venezuelan Prisons

CARACAS – Relatives of inmates in two Venezuelan prisons decided to remain inside the facilities to protest the alleged “mistreatment” of their loved ones by the guards and the procedural delays in bringing their cases to court, the media reported Tuesday.

At the La Planta detention center in west Caracas, about 150 women decided to remain inside the prison after Sunday visiting hours to protest the procedural delays in the cases of their relatives, Globovision television said.

At the Yare I prison on the outskirts of Caracas, 200 women remained inside after visiting hours to express their rejection of the “continual mistreatment” of the inmates and people associated with them by the guards, capital daily El Universal said.

The so-called “self-kidnappings” by prisoners’ relatives to express their support of inmates’ demands have become frequent occurrences in Venezuela, where last January a similar protest was staged simultaneously in three prisons.

Venezuela’s penitentiary system, considered to be one of the most violent in the region, is comprised of 45 institutions that house some 30,000 inmates, according to government figures. EFE

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