The events unfolded in a police lockup in the town of Acarigua. “There was an attempted escape and a fight broke out among gangs,” the state’s public safety secretary, Oscar Valero, told the media. “With police intervention to prevent the escape, well, there were 29 deaths.” Prisoners detonated three grenades, resulting in injuries to 19 police officers, Valero said. The lockup in Acarigua holds more than 350 people awaiting trial, he said.
The Venezuelan Prisons Observatory (OVP), an independent advocacy group, said blame for the deaths lay with the Ministry of Penitentiary Services, created eight years ago to address chronic overcrowding, corruption and violence in the nation’s 30 prisons. (Latin American Herald Tribune, http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2479058&CategoryId=10717)