Bolivia prison violence ended with no less than 29 dead this week, including one child that was killed in the fire following gunshots and explosions. The violent encounters between inmates in a maximum-security prison located in Bolivia were the source of the hostility and bloodshed, Yahoo! reports this Saturday, Aug. 24.
Although Bolivia prison violence isn’t necessarily new to the country, such aggression is something that should never be exposed to children, said one official. Yet many children live with different prisoners in the maximum-security prison just outside Santa Cruz, the Palmasola Penitentiary Complex. Santa Cruz stands as the biggest city in Bolivia.
According to police reports, a sudden explosion and repeated gunfire rocked the prison on Friday morning. Prisoners in various cell blocks and from rival groups fought for control for several minutes in a section of Palmasola, said an inmate source.
Boston added that the rival groups were part of varying gangs that exist throughout the nation's penitentiary. The brawl itself was said to be over a contention of more space and leadership. Several inmates were able to create a hole in the wall, then use that hole as a way to pass into another area of the prison. Opening valves on smuggled-in gas tanks, the inmates were said to use them as makeshift flamethrowers. The fire quickly caught on the straw mattresses, and the flames ultimately spread dangerously fast.
"The victims were trapped in the fire,’’ said one officer. It is being called one of the worst episodes of violence in Palmasola ever.
The fire that broke out in that part of the prison injured over 35 of the inmates (up to 60, say some estimates) in the flames. Of those victims — many who were removed from the prison and transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment — 29 were killed in the flames or in the gunfire between the gangs. One of the fire's victims was an innocent child who had been staying in the prison complex at that time.
The report concluded that more details on the Bolivia prison violence story would be revealed as they become available.