At least 17 inmates dead of drug poisoning in Venezuela

At least 17 Venezuelan inmates who had been on hunger strike over prison conditions, have died of drug poisoning, police sources told AFP. The prisoners at David Viloria Correction Center, known as Uribana prison, in Venezuela’s Lara state, had been protesting since Tuesday over what they said was inhumane treatment and rights violations. Prison officials said the dead inmates were poisoned after ingesting prescription drugs. How the inmates all came to consume one or more medications was not immediately clear. Meanwhile, a total of 41 alleged criminals fled Wednesday morning from a jail in the central Venezuelan city of Los Teques in Miranda state. The daily El Nacional attributed the prisoners’ escape to “overcrowding” at the police facility, which has a capacity of 40 prisoners but was holding at least 130 people at the time of the breakout.