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RIOT AT TANGO ELEVEN -Inmates Attack Guards at Prison

RIOT AT TANGO ELEVEN -Inmates Attack Guards at Prison
August 09
20:13 2019

Eight prisoners, one of them identified as the ringleader who has a history of violent behavior, have been placed in administrative segregation following a riot at the Belize Central Prison on Wednesday morning, August 7th.

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The prisoners will remain in total lockdown while prison officials contemplate bringing criminal charges against them for starting and participating in the riot. Additionally, authorities are exploring whether they can level wounding charges against the prisoners for injuries they caused to three of the prison guards. According to prison officials, after their investigations are complete, apart from the criminal charges the prisoners will also be charged internally and will appear in front of a tribunal.

In the meantime, the prisoners have been stripped of all their privileges including recreation, family visits, special privileges, interactions and in some cases accepting packages from their family members and friends.

The Reporter spoke to the prison’s CEO, Virgilio Murillo, on Thursday and he confirmed that one of his guards sustained an open wound to his head, while two other officers including a female sustained minor abrasions to their bodies. The CEO told the Reporter that the eight prisoners who were involved in the riot also sustained minor abrasions. He additionally confirmed that the prisoners did not use any weapons and that prison staff had to use chemical agents to stop the riot.

Murillo told the newspaper that investigations so far reveal that while on recreation, the eight prisoners had planned their attack. The prisoners, according to Murillo, had agreed that they were going to attack the guards while they were being placed back inside their cells. The CEO explained that the individual identified as the mastermind grabbed one of the prison guards by the neck and started choking him, and when the two other guards along with some inmates quickly rushed to the guard’s rescue, the seven prisoners intervened leading to an all-out melee.

“We had about eight prisoners who were upset about the prison rules and policies and I guess that there was one leader, one person who managed to influence the others to revolt against the prison’s policies. There is no specific policy that I can pinpoint that they are upset about and I believe that they are just upset about all the restrictions that they have to live by. So what happened is, I believe, they wanted to state a point and it was their way of wanting to get attention and they thought that by going against the prison administration and holding one of our guards hostage and attacking the other two – they thought that would have gotten the attention of the prison officials,” Murillo told the Reporter.

There are 119 prisoners on Tango 11 on remand, awaiting trial for murder.

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