Prisoner riot over poor conditions in Santa Marta jail


Authorities regained control of a prison in northern Colombia after a massive riot Tuesday injured one guard and left smoke billowing from the roof, local media reported.

Inmates seized control of the jail in Santa Marta by burning mattresses, clothing and other paraphernalia. It took authorities, equipped with tear gas, more than two hours to subdue the prisoners.

The prisoners rioted inside the Rodrigo de Bastidas jail to protest the poor conditions there, their primary complaint being that they had not received adequate medical treatment in more than five months, El Heraldo reported. Prisoners complained of inedible food, undrinkable water and overcrowding in cells as well.

Prisoners also destroyed the prison chapel and attacked the guards with stones from the roof of the prison, wounding one guard who sustained severe injuries to his face.

The rioting finally ended when prison officials reached an agreement with the inmates to end the riot. Several prisoners needed to be treated for breathing problems, due to the heavy smoke and tear gas fumes. Authorities reported a nearby elementary school was also evacuated.

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