Custodio would have shot and wounded four inmates at the Fénix prison in Lara state

According to the OVP, the brawl began due to the alleged rejection of the inmates of the Fénix prison upon the arrival of a woman from the INOF, whom they point out as having a violent attitude

After 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, four inmates from the female annex of the Fénix prison in the state of Lara entered the emergency room of the Antonio María Pineda Central Hospital, all of whom had wounds caused by a firearm.

According to what was published by the Venezuelan Prison Observatory (PVO) the officials who were transferring the inmates to the hospital room arrived by violently opening the doors. As it was known, the injuries were caused by pellet shots at close range.

One of the inmates presented an open wound on one of her hands, another had to have her leg put in a cast after the damage caused by the pellets.

Likewise, they presented multiple injuries to the abdomen and blows, according to the review to which they were subjected by the doctors of the place.

Relatives and prisoners denounced before the OVP that the injuries were allegedly caused by an official from the Ministry of Penitentiary Service who provides his services in the Fénix prison community.

As Carolina Castañeda, Carolina González and “Regula”, three of the four inmates injured during these events were identified, all were discharged early this Monday, July 25 after treating their injuries.

According to the OVP, a woman from the National Institute for Women’s Orientation (INOF), located in Miranda state, was transferred to the Fénix prison 15 days ago. The transfer was ordered due to the alleged misbehavior of this prisoner at the INOF, who was previously held in the Tocuyito female annex in Carabobo state, from where she was also transferred for violent acts.

Once admitted to Fénix Lara, this prisoner was confined in the isolation area, but was rejected by the rest of the prison population when they tried to take her to the cells. Apparently, this was the reason that triggered a brawl.

Upon noticing the fight, the guards alerted the prison authorities and that was when they decided to enter the dungeons. Shots were heard later, wounding the four women.

“The official was too violent, shooting and screaming. He could have done it in another way, ”commented one of the complainants.

During the months of June and July, other events were reported by prisoners in the men’s area, who stated that “the official involved in the women’s brawl walks around the prison with a firearm, points it at them and goes to them with expletives”.

Today relatives fear for the safety of the women and the rest of the prison population, so they ask the staff of the Public Ministry and the Ombudsman to investigate what happened.

*Also read: EU and Cofavic create project to protect human rights defenders in Venezuela

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