- Title: VENEZUELA: Bodies of dead prison rioters are released to their families
- Date: 26th January 2013
- Summary: BARQUISIMETO, VENEZUELA (JANUARY 26, 2013) (REUTERS) COFFIN OF PRISON INMATE AND POLICE AROUND IT VARIOUS OF NATIONAL POLICE STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE MORGUE FAMILY MEMBERS WAITING TO RECEIVE THE BODIES OF THEIR DEAD LOVED ONES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) NAYIVET LOPEZ, FAMILY MEMBER OF ONE OF THE DEAD, SAYING: "We want for there to be an investigation of everything that happened in the jail. We also want for them to inform us of how many are dead inside the jail because now we have many bodies in a number of places here in the city and until now the public ministry has not released any information as to exactly how many bodies there are." PEOPLE CRYING VARIOUS OF A FAMILY WITH DEATH CERTIFICATE PAPERS IN HAND WAITING TO RECEIVE THE BODY OF ONE OF THE DEAD A MAN READING THE LIST OF THE NAMES OF THE DEAD JAIL INMATES IN THE MORGUE THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THUS FAR LIST OF DEAD WRITTEN ON A PIECE OF PAPER TAPED TO THE WALL HEAD OF THE MORGUE SPEAKING WITH THE FAMILY OF ONE OF THE DEAD VARIOUS OF A CAR ARRIVING AT THE MORGUE TO COLLECT ONE OF THE BODIES VARIOUS OF NATIONAL POLICE CORDONING OFF THE ENTRANCE TO THE MORGUE AS MORGUE WORKERS CARRY A COFFIN AND PLACE IT INSIDE THE BACK OF A CAR A CAR CARRYING A COFFIN LEAVING THE MORGUE
- Embargoed: 10th February 2013 12:00
- Location: Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Crime
- Reuters ID: LVADTAW0WZOQ41ZKDYJEVZICDHUK
- Story Text: Venezuelan authorities began to release the bodies of some of the dead inmates killed in the Centro Occidental jail to family members Saturday (January 26).
A heavy police presence cordoned off the entrance to the morgue where family members of the dead waited to receive the bodies of their loved ones.
"We want for there to be an investigation of everything that happened in the jail," said Nayivet Lopez as she waited to receive the body of her loved one outside the morgue.
"We also want for them to inform us of how many are dead inside the jail because now we have many bodies in a number of places here in the city and until now the public ministry has not released any information as to exactly how many bodies there are."
The government has yet to release a definitive number of those who perished in the riot.
Violence broke out Friday (January 25) after news of an inspection to confiscate weapons at the Centro Occidental jail, Prisons Minister Iris Varela said in a statement, without providing a death toll.
Local media reports say between 26 and 54 people were killed and dozens wounded, the latest incident in the ongoing crisis in the South American nation's crowded prisons.
The violence involved both a struggle between rival gangs for control of the jail and a confrontation between inmates and troops called in to calm the situation, Varela said.
Venezuelan prisons are controlled by armed gangs that have rioted repeatedly over the last several years due to disputes with jail authorities or prison leaders.
The country's 34 prisons were designed to hold around a third of the 50,000 inmates now in them, according to local prison advocacy groups.
Many of the prisoners are armed and hundreds are killed each year in riots and gang fights.
A month-long siege occurred in 2011 at El Rodeo prison, just outside the capital of Caracas, when 22 died before some 5,000 soldiers restored order.
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