Body count doubles in Venezuela jail

Five months after violent clashes among inmates forced the closure of Venezuela’s largest jail, authorities revealed that they have discovered decomposing remains in the facility. The number of bodies has doubled from seven last Friday to 14.

There were many reports of violence at the General Penitentiary of Venezuela last October which resulted in it having to close. Complaints had also surfaced that inmates had died because of inadequate food and medicine.

“We received reports…that bones were found, human remains, and we immediately activated an investigation at the prison at San Juan de Los Morros” , said Minister of penitentiary affairs, Iris Varela.

BBC News reported that the prison is currently being refurbished as part of a government programme to bring the country’s penitentiaries up to international standards.

Varela described the remains as being “in an advanced staged of decomposition”.

The non-governmental group A Window on Freedom, the prison had an estimated that had an estimated 9,000 inmates prior to its closure.  The group estimates that some 88,000 people are incarcerated in Venezuela, 33,000 of them in police jails.

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