Death Toll Hits 21 in El Salvador Prison Riot
SAN SALVADOR – The death toll quickly rose to 21 in a Jan. 6 uprising started by gang members at the Apanteos prison in western El Salvador, 70 kilometers from the capital, according to prison officials.
Alberto Uribe, the communications chief for the bureau of prisons, said the final casualty figures were compiled after the riot had been controlled and the prison inspected. He said the coroner’s office had identified 16 of the dead, but the identities of the remaining bodies could not be determined because of the extensive damage to the inmates’ heads and faces.
Uribe said about 100 inmates were transferred to another prison in the city of Santa Ana for security reasons. He added that several blocks of the Apanteos facility were destroyed by the gang members.
The bureau of prisons on Jan. 6 declared a state of emergency lasting at least two weeks at the Apanteos prison, Uribe said, adding that inmates would be locked down and would not be able to receive visitors during that period.
The prison uprising started when groups of inmates began knocking down or making holes – apparently using parts of broken beds – in some of the walls of the penitentiary, according to reports.
“It is one of the ugliest massacres that has occurred in recent times; it’s a monstrosity,” said El Salvador’s human-rights ombudswoman, Beatrice de Carrillo.
She said that in a brief tour of the inside of the prison she saw “within the cells feet, heads covered with mats …We don’t know if they are the same (inmates) who were sleeping there or if they brought them to those cells to execute them.”
El Salvador’s two largest violent youth gangs, the Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha, are both represented in the prison. The country’s prisons are badly overcrowded.
You may be interested
Twice as nice: Güity wins second gold at Grand PrixAlejandro Zúñiga - May 25, 2019
A day after he placed himself atop the world rankings with his time in the 200-meter T64 at the 2019…
Costa Rica obtains $500 million from CAF for fiscal supportAFP and The Tico Times - May 25, 2019
The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) on Friday granted a $500 million credit to Costa Rica to support the…
Ballet Festival 2019 part of Costa Rica’s flourishing dance sceneJacob Spetzler - May 24, 2019
A convergence of international ballet classes, performances and meetings manifests this week in the form of the Costa Rican Festival…