A group of prisoners belonging to a criminal gang took a number of police officers hostage, and they were all released after fifteen hours.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday there was a big event insurgency In Tacumbo prison in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. A group of prisoners belonging to the Klan Rotella criminal gang clashed with police and took 22 prison officers hostage, the largest in the country, before releasing them 15 hours later. The situation was resolved thanks to an agreement with the government: “We have restored order,” Paraguayan President Santiago Peña said at a press conference.
The riots began on Tuesday evening. Some inmates had set fire to several mattresses at the prison entrance to prevent the police from arriving, while others climbed onto the roof, where they began throwing stones at the riot police deployed around the building. Meanwhile, prison director Luis Esquivel told local radio that he was being held hostage along with 21 police officers (the country’s authorities confirmed the number after their release). Two officers were injured in clashes between police and prisoners.
Esquivel said the inmates made three demands: a guarantee that the police would not storm the prison, that there would be no repercussions from the riots, and that new inmates would be accepted into the prison. The prison holds nearly 3,000 people and is already severely overcrowded, according to local media Rotella clan He hopes that sending new prisoners affiliated with the organization will increase its influence.
The gang takes its name from the brothers Oscar and Armando Javier Rotella, who founded it: it controls much of Paraguay’s drug trade, and in fact controlled the prison even before the uprising. Last October 2, Justice Minister Angel Barcini announced his desire to return the prison to police control: which some consider to be one of the possible reasons behind the clashes.
At present, it is not clear what type of agreement under which the rebellion was resolved. Between us I confess Tacumbu Prison is overcrowded and it has been determined that there are only 1,100 prisoners who have received sentences, while there are about 1,600 awaiting trial. He described the situation as “complex” and said that it was necessary to “find equally complex solutions.” In any case, the President made clear that “the insufficient number of prison officers cannot be used as an excuse to respond to the requests of persons deprived of their liberty.”
Paraguay is not the only country in Latin America with problems in its prison system. In Ecuadorian prisons, violent clashes often occur between rival gangs or between prisoners and law enforcement forces. In Venezuela, 11,000 police and soldiers were deployed to regain control of a prison that had been controlled by prisoners for years, and they built a swimming pool, a zoo and a nightclub inside it.
– Read also: The Venezuelan prison has been run by a criminal group for years
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