After Inmates Riot, Honduran Military Takes Over Prison

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 01:57 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Honduran authorities have dispatched troops to take control of the nation’s main prison following the death of three inmates in a riot, the BBC reported.

The decision was made in order to end “the reign of criminals in our prison system,” Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said. He said the military would remain at the prison until further notice.

Police said a riot erupted Friday afternoon at the country’s National Penitentiary north of Tegucigalpa, the capital, which houses approximately 3,300 inmates.

United Press International quoted Honduran media accounts stating that three prison guards were among at least six people were seriously injured in rioting which involved gang members and other inmates. Some prisoners carried AK-47 rifles and a hand grenade reportedly detonated as well, UPI reports.

The violence occurred one day after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a report describing the jail system in Honduras as "dehumanised, miserly, and corrupt."

The commission said jails were overcrowded and operate under the de facto command of inmates - often belonging to the country's violent criminal gangs - who even set rules and enforce physical punishments of violators.

It also found that women shared prisons with men and were often victims of abuse.
"It is essential that the state take on this crisis in the prison system as one of its priorities, because the system has totally collapsed," commission spokesman Escobar Gil said.



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