Three Inmates Die in Brawl at Venezuelan Prison

CARACAS – At least three prisoners died and four other people were injured Monday in a riot at the Tocoron prison in the northeastern Venezuelan state of Aragua, authorities said.

The commander of the 21st detachment of Venezuela’s militarized police, Marlon Dulcey, confirmed the deaths of the three inmates and added that three guards and another prisoner were wounded during the incident, Globovision television said.

Citing inmates’ families, other media had reported earlier that 80 inmates had died in the Tocoron riot, a report that Interior Ministry officials denied when speaking with Efe.

In 2009, at least 366 prisoners died in violent incidents within the country’s prisons, according to figures compiled by the Venezuelan Prison Observatory humanitarian organization.

Venezuela’s prison system, considered to be one of the most violent in South America, is made up of 29 prisons and 16 internment centers that function as prisons, all of which house a total of 20,000 inmates, according to official figures. EFE

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