The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a statement yesterday evening regarding yesterday’s violence at the Acarigua jail, which left approximately 30 inmates dead.
In a series of tweets posted on its official Spanish account, the IACHR argued that it has been for years expressing concern over the “extremely high levels of violence” in Venezuelan prisons, and called for an investigation into the deaths. The IACHR also said:
The state has the special duty to protect the lives and safety of those under its custody. The [IACHR] will continue to pay particular attention to the situation of inmates in Venezuela.
Yesterday, a Venezuelan non-governmental organization called the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones [Venezuelan Prison Watch, OVP] reported that the authorities had killed 30 inmates in the jail after days of protests demanding better conditions at the facility.
El Universal reported today that the actual number of fatalities was 29, and confirmed that they were all inmates.
The newspaper is also reporting that Oscar Valero, the head of Citizen Security for Portuguesa state, said that armed inmates opened fire on the authorities who were raiding the jail, injuring 19 of them.
Inmates’ Relatives Await Word from Authorities
The relatives of the inmates killed in Acarigua waited for word from the authorities about their loved ones’ remains outside of the morgue of the Jesus Maria Casal Ramos hospital.
In the second video below, an individual who works at the hospital speaks to reporters and relatives through a chain link fence. The individual says that they have conducted a total of eight autopsies so far:
The video below, a relative of one of the inmates who was killed talks to a reporter:
Reporter: We’re here outside of the morgue at the Jesus Maria Casal Ramos in Acarigua, alongside the relatives of the inmates who died during the riot at the Paez police [jail] this Friday. Beside me is one of the relatives, who will tell us how difficult it’s been to receive the bodies, as well as how expensive it will be to bury them.
Woman: Well, they’ve been here since yesterday. They’ve haven’t even done the autopsy yet. The majority of us relatives don’t have money to bury them because that’s really expensive, so we don’t know who to ask for help.
I think that because they carried out this massacre, the government should help us. The majority of people can’t bury their relatives, or even to get them out of here.
Reporter: How much does a funeral cost?
Woman: They’ve told me that the cheapest one they’ve got is Bs. 1,300. [Unintelligible–it sounds like she’s describing the different funeral options].
Reporter: Are you from here, from Acarigua?
Reporter: What have they told you about the process of handing over the bodies?
Woman: Well, this morning they told me that I had to wait because they hadn’t done the autopsy yet, and that they were waiting for some people from Caracas to get here to see what they say.
Reporter: This is the situation at the Jesus Maria Casal Ramos hospital. The relatives have been here since last night waiting for the hand-over of the bodies. For VpiTV, I’m Maria Angel Moro Colmenares.
Opposition, Gov’t Headed to Oslo Again
The Norwegian foreign ministry announced today that representatives from the Maduro government and the opposition were heading to Oslo this coming week for a second round of talks with the goal of facilitating an end to the ongoing crisis.
Last week, news broke that the two sides had met in Oslo for exploratory talks.
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