37 inmates killed in Venezuela prison riot

CARACAS, Aug. 18 — As many as 37 inmates were killed in a prison
riot in the southern Venezuelan state of Amazonas, the Prosecutor General’s
Office said on Wednesday.

The deaths at a state detention center resulted from a clash between
inmates and police officers, which also left 14 officials injured,
officials said. In a Twitter post, the governor of Amazonas, Liborio
Guarulla, confirmed that the “massacre” took place at the facility in the
town of Puerto Ayacucho. He blamed the deaths on an operation by “special
forces of the FAN,” or the National Armed Forces. Authorities are
investigating the incident. Venezuela has witnessed several deadly prison
riots in recent years. In April, at least 12 people died and another 11
were injured in violence at the Jose Antonio Anzoategui prison in the
eastern state of Anzoategui. In January 2013, clashes between prisoners and
guards in Uribana prison in northwestern Venezuela left 61 people dead.
Security has deteriorated in the oil-rich country following a severe
economic crisis due to low oil prices.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
has formed the National Constituent Assembly, aiming to amend the
constitution in order to carry out reforms. This, however, is rejected by
opposition parties. – XINHUA