Prison Massacre in Maracaibo

On January 3, 1994, a massacre in a Venezuelan prison left more than one hundred inmates dead and scores injured. While security personnel stood by, a group of prisoners set fire to a prison building, then shot and stabbed prisoners who tried to escape the inferno. HRW maintains that what happened was avoidable and even foreseeable, for numerous earlier reports described the horrendous state of Venezuelan prisons, but thus far the government's determination to reform its prison system has been absent.

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