Activists ask for a probe after prison riots in Venezuela kill more than 40 including the warden

There has been an increase in the crime rates because of the economic crisis in the country

A Human Rights group on Saturday, May 2, has asked for a probe into the riots that happened in a prison in the western part of Venezuela. The rights group questioned the authorities role in the incident that led to the death of 46 people and injured 75. The authorities of the prison said that the riots happened after a failed attempt at escaping the prisons.

In a tweet, the United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCR) said that there were concerns regarding the incident in the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa state. The prisons in Venezuela is said to be in poor conditions and has recorded to be violent.

The UNOHCR said that they will urge the authorities to "conduct a thorough investigation," and "tackle overcrowding, and guarantee basic rights." The State radio station's website quoted Iris Varela, the prisons minister, saying that the people responsible for the incident that killed 17 inmates and caused injuries to the prison's director who was trying to negotiate with the people who were trying to escape from the prison will be judged even though they are already incarcerated.

Inmates request for family's visit was denied

Journalists imprisoned
Representational Image

According to certain news outlets, it was reported that the inmates rebelled after the authorities denied the request for the prisoners' families to deliver food to them. The situation escalated after an armed confrontation which also led to the death of a National Guard officer who was wounded during an explosion and a Prison Warden who suffered a knife wound.

The prison minister said that the inmates had attacked the officers standing guard. The prisons are largely overcrowded with an estimate of more than 110,000 inmates in the 30 prisons and 500 jails under the facilities. Venezuelan Prison Observatory, a human rights group said that the Guanare prison has around 2,500 inmates but only has a capacity to hold 750 prisoners.

The severe economic crisis has led to an increase in crime rates. Retired Venezuela Army Gen Cliver Alcalá was arrested after an ex-Green beret tried to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro by attempting to raid military bases and ignite a rebellion.