At least 49 inmates they died y 30 suffered injuries in the early hours of Tuesday due to the fire caused by the prisoners of the Tulua jailin the southwest of Colombiaaccording to the authorities.
The tragedy occurred in a pavilion of the municipal prison when the prisoners set fire to their mattresses to prevent the entrance to the police compound after an escape attempt or “to cover some situation”said the general Titus Castellanosdirector of the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (Inpec).
“Unfortunately, there is a riot in pavilion number eight of the prison of Tuluawhere there is 1267 deprived of libertywith an unfortunate result of 49 deaths,” the officer told La W Radio. According to Castellanos, the inmates died in a fire caused by themselves on the 2 in the morning.
“By setting fire to the mattresses (the prisoners) they do not measure the consequences of what may be presented to them and unfortunately this event occurs,” the general explained in an interview with Radio RCN “The Tuluá fire department has already controlled the situation,” he added.
There are 30 more people “injured and affected by the conflagration and smoke,” including six guards who tried to evacuate the prisoners, added Castellanos, without giving a report on escaped prisoners. Outside the prison, dozens of anguished people wait for news about their relatives.
“I don’t know anything. Those of the Inpec they don’t want to let in,” he told Caracol Television through tears. Maria Eugenia Rojas, mother of Luis Miguel Rojaswho was detained in the pavilion where the riot began.
It could be worst”
In the site affected by the flames there were 180 inmates, who set fire to mats to prevent the entry of the authorities. According to official sources, The uniformed men tried to control the fire with fire extinguishers and managed to get dozens of prisoners out alive“If not, the result would have been worse than what we currently have,” Castellanos emphasized.
According to the general, the prison housed 1,267 inmates, a 17% more than the capacity of this jail. Forensics work on the identification of victims.
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The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter and called for “a complete rethinking of prison policy in the face of (…) the dignity of the prisoner.” “The Colombian state has looked at prison as a space for revenge and not for rehabilitation,” added the leftist, who will take office on August 7, evoking the death of 23 prisoners during a prison riot. The Bogota Model in March 2020.
The outgoing president, Ivan Duke, gave an account of what happened in a tweet, without mentioning a figure. “We regret the events that occurred in the Tuluá prison (…) I have given instructions to carry out investigations to clarify this terrible situation. My solidarity with the families of the victims,” the president wrote.
The Colombian prison system houses 97 mil 426 prisoners. The overcrowding is 16 mil 251according to him Inpec.
Colombia Prison fires Gustavo Petro Deaths
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