Honduran authorities avert prison riot

Tegucigalpa, Apr 4 (EFE).- Honduran prison authorities on Thursday averted an attempt by inmates in the Marcala prison to stage an uprising, police said.

The prisoners "burned several mattresses" and lit bonfires in the yard of the prison in the western province of La Paz to demand improved services, such as better quality food, a spokesman with the Marcala police told Efe.

He added that the inmates also are demanding that the prison authorities put mechanisms in place to improve the problem of overcrowding at the facility, which houses 130 prisoners although its capacity is only 70, according to official figures.

"The inmates were on the verge of taking control of the prison, but the police prevented it. Now the prison is under the control of the authorities," the spokesman said.

The attempted riot ended without any major incidents, and apparently without injury to anyone, after the prisoners and the prison authorities reached an agreement, the spokesman said without providing any further details.

The Honduran penitentiary system consists of 24 prisons, but all of them are overcrowded, lack appropriate physical facilities and suffer from poor hygiene conditions. Furthermore, adequate food and water are not provided there, according to an analysis performed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or CIDH.