Venezuelan forces kill 37 inmates in riot ‘massacre’

Venezuelan security forces ended a day-long prison riot in the Amazonas state Wednesday, in which at least 37 inmates were killed. Photo courtesy Gov. Liborio Guarulla

Aug. 17 (UPI) — Dozens of inmates were killed in a “massacre” after an armed prison riot broke out in Puerto Ayacucho, a top government official said Thursday.

Amazonas state Gov. Liborio Guarulla said 37 inmates died, four were injured and one escaped from the Ayacucho Detention Center. The riot started Tuesday and ended Wednesday after the security forces intervened.

Guarulla, an opposition politician who represents Venezuela’s indigenous community, accused President Nicolas Maduro‘s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela of targeting the Amazonas government — calling to question the party’s “campaign of love” that the regime seeks to promote to establish peace amid the country’s political crisis.

“A campaign of love? With massacre of 37 killed in Ayacucho Detention Center begins PSUV campaign against the government of Amazonas,” Guarulla said.

Six Venezuelan security officers were also injured in the violence.

Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons Director Humberto Prado said that it is necessary to determine who is responsible for allowing inmates to become armed, if that was the case.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office must initiate an immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation, because Venezuela is still on the list of the countries with the greatest prison violence in the world,” Prado said in a statement

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