Venezuela: nationwide protests at prisons

Thousands of relatives of inmates staged sit-ins Oct. 14 at prisons across Venezuela to protest poor conditions and rights abuses. Hundreds of inmates die each year in prison violence—including 500 last year. This has fueled complaints that President Hugo Chávez has done too little to address the situation and improve the judicial system—which often allows people to languish in prison for years without a trial. The protest, which began last week with a hunger strike at Yare prison outside Caracas, has spread across the country, according to Venezuelan Prison Observatory, a nonprofit group that monitors prisons. The Interior Ministry said 6,500 participated in sit-ins at eight prisons. (Reuters, NYT, Javno, Croatia, Oct. 14)

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