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A riot by prisoners demanding government health measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bogota A riot by prisoners demanding government health measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bogota 

Unrest leaves 20 dead at Colombia prison

An investigation is underway into an attempted prison break in Colombia, which has left more than 20 inmates dead and more than eighty injured, some seriously. Fear of the Corona virus seems to be a factor in the developing unrest in the country`s prison population.

By James Blears

The riot and attempted mass break out happened at the Modelo prison in Colombia`s Capital Bogota. 

Outside the prison walls, masked families of inmates, claim they heard gunfire, shortly after security forces went in to restore order.

Colombia`s Justice Minister Margarita Cabello says that two prison officers who were injured,  among thirty two hospitalized  are in critical condition. She`s vowing to bring criminal charges against those responsible for murder and assault.

The unrest spread to thirteen prisons nationwide.  The Minister says she believes it was carefully orchestrated. 

Inmates insist they`re in grave danger of the epidemic of corona virus, because of chronic overcrowding in Colombia`s prisons, which are holding  more than thirty thousand more than maximum capacity .  Yet no inmates have fallen sick, as yet.  Colombia so far has more than 200 reported cases. 

Listen to the report by James Blears

 

23 March 2020, 15:05