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Venezuela: Uribana prison closed after riot

Officials have closed Uribana prison in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, following two days of riots.

Uribana 2013 01 27Enlarge
Military forces outside the Uribana prison in Lara state, Venezuela, on Jan. 26, 2013. (Leo RAMIREZ /AFP/Getty Images)

Officials in Venezuela have closed Uribana prison in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and moved its inmates to other prisons following two days of riots that have left an estimated 61 people dead and about 120 people injured, Fox News Latino reported. The Venezuelan government has not yet confirmed a death toll.

More from GlobalPost: Venezuela prison riot leaves dozens dead

The final prisoners were loaded onto buses and evacuated this morning, according to Fox News Latino.

Most of the dead and injured were shot in gun-battles that erupted between armed prisoners and National Guard troops after the troops attempted to round up illegal weapons on Friday, the Guardian reported. Information about the weapons raid had been leaked beforehand.

Venezuela’s prisons are notoriously overcrowded and lawless, Fox News Latino reported. Prisoners often obtain weapons from corrupt guards and deal drugs with their assistance.

According to the Guardian:

Uribana, one of the worst facilities, is known for its weekly "coliseum" contests, where inmates fight scheduled battles as crowds of convicts cheer, jeer and film the bloodshed.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/130127/venezuela-uribana-prison-closed-after-riot