AI urges serious inquest into the events at Venezuelan jail
"It is unacceptable that a search that ought to be a routine operation leads to so much violence"
According to the Venezuelan Ministry of Penitentiary Services, the authorities and the National Guard conducted last Friday a search at Uribana jail in an attempt at disarming the inmates. The action resulted in at least 58 people dead and 90 injured, many of them were shot.
"It is unacceptable for a search that should be a regular operation leads to so much violence. This glaringly shows –again- that the crisis of the penitentiary system in Venezuela has reached alarming levels," the communiqué spelled out.
Quite a few times Amnesty International has warned Venezuelan authorities about the urgency to address the jail serious conditions. "Regrettably, insofar as no measures of substance are taken to deal with all the problems associated to the penitentiary system, such events will continue occurring time after time."
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.