Dozens killed in prison riot — Analysis
A fire broke out in the middle of a riot at Colombia’s Tulua prison, resulting in 51 deaths
After a Tulua prison escape and prison riot, 51 persons were killed and thirty others injured on Tuesday morning, a fire broke out. According to reports, the prisoners set fire to their beds during the affray.
According to Semana (a Colombian news website), the fire started in a cell block that housed around 200 prisoners. After the prisoners had lit their mattresses on fire, some tried to escape, while others – who are believed to be connected with gangs – began brawling.
Wilson Ruiz Orejuela is the Colombian Minister to Justice told the storyThe tragedy started as an argument between two inmates. One of them set fire to the mattress. Orejuela stated that it was a tragic accident. Orejuela claimed that the flames spread quickly and Tulua firefighters were called in to help extinguish them.
The exact number of inmates who died in the flames and those who were killed in fighting is not known.
Officials read out the names of survivors as families gathered to find out the fates their loved ones. The inmates in the other cells were all described as being “in perfect condition.”
Semana claims that the total number of inmates at the facility was 1,267, which is around 200 more than what the prison was meant to house.
The Colombian President Ivan Duque called for an investigation of the incident. President-elect Gustavo Petro meanwhile called for an inquiry. “complete rethinking of prison policy”Protecting the “humanization of the prison and the dignity of the prisoner.”
A similar scenario played out at Bogota’s Modelo Prison in March 2020, when a protest over sanitary conditions devolved into a violent riot that killed 23 prisoners and injured more than 100.
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