Today, personnel of the Prisons Ministry along with soldiers of the National Guard tried to inspect Uribana Prison (located outside Barquisimeto) for illegal materials.
The procedure was supposed to be low-profile in nature. But a local journalist found out, thanks to the very not-so-subtle presence outside of at least ten military light tanks.
There was resistance to the inquiry and a shootout started. Right now there are several casualties, including a GN officer, an evangelical pastor and prison inmates. The numbers of dead and wounded could grow, as there many are dozens attended in Barquisimeto’s Central Hospital. Prisons Minister Iris Varela has blamed everything on the media.
CC readers should remember Uribana as the place where there are knife fights between inmates called coliseos for years now. Quico blogged about it last year for the IHT.
UPDATE # 1: According to El Universal, the current numbers are 13 dead (10 inmates, 2 visiting evangelical pastors and a National Guard officer) and 63 people wounded.
UPDATE # 2: At 9:30 p.m., the latest report is of 54 dead and 80 wounded. The head of Barquisimeto’s Central Hospital confirmed most of the deaths were caused by gun shots.
UPDATE # 3: 24 hours later, a source of Barquisimeto’s Central Hospital told the spanish press agency EFE that the latest numbers are 61 dead and 120 injured.