Incidents » Crimes

Argentina: 13 killed in prison "vendetta"

A group of 600 inmates provoked a riot to attack others who have killed one of their fellow gangs

At least 13 were killed and other six became injured in a riot provoked on Tuesday by a group of 600 inmates aimed to take revenge on the murder of one of their fellows, police reports from Coronda, in the Argentine Province of Santa Fe. According to authorities, the riot finished by 5.30 am local time, and two out of the 13 killed were burned alive in the top-security sector of the penal complex.

The riot begun late on Monday when the 600-men group took over six out of 12 sectors of the prison. Official sources confirmed that the intention of the rioters was to take revenge on other group that have killed another inmate early this month.

Rivalry between both groups is related to their place of birth. The attackers are mostly from Santa Fe city, the Capital of the Santa Fe Province, some 600 kilometres north from Buenos Aires. The victims are from the city of Rosario, also in the Santa Fe Province. Rosario is Argentina's second largest city and a prominent port for its exports.

Official sources confirmed that rioters did not try to escape taking advantage of the situation. The director of the prison, Mr. Fernando Rosua, later confirmed that killers used knives to murder their victims.

Tuesday events came only two months after another deadly riot took the lives of eight people –five inmates and three policemen- in an Argentine prison. That time, inmates were claiming for better conditions of life in the jails of the Cordoba Province.

Human rights groups have been denouncing inhuman conditions of the Argentine prisons for a long time. Overpopulation, mistreatment and poor infrastructure –many jails have been built in the nineteenth century- are the main reasons for the outbreak of riots and permanent mood of violence in the local penal system.

On the photo: Rioters in control of an Argentine prison.

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