by Jen Turner
Venezuelan authorities finished removing inmates from one of the country’s biggest prisons last week, after more than two days of gunfights and rioting that left 61 people dead and more than 100 injured. The killings were believed to have been sparked by an attempt to confiscate illegal weapons at the notoriously overcrowded Uribana jail. According to local media reports, the search had been planned for dawn on Friday at the prison complex in the western city of Barquisimeto, but the heavily-armed inmates resisted, sparking one of the deadliest riots in the country’s history. After two days of sporadic shooting and reports of killings by inmates, the authorities declared the prison’s closure. The government has yet to confirm the full list of casualties.
Iris Varela, Venezuela’s penitentiary services minister, said the decision to search and disarm the men had been taken after authorities learned that rival gangs were preparing to confront each…
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