Three prisoners died and another 25 were injured during a riot at Bogota’s La Modelo prison, sparked by protests over the transfer of an inmate in a bid to control micro drug trafficking within the jail.
“The riot was the consequence of measures taken to control the micro-trafficking of drugs … There was a reaction by the inmates and the situation degenerated; they set mattresses on fire and began to throw them at the guards,” Colonel Carlos Barragan from INPEC, Colombia’s prison authority, told RCN Radio.
Thirteen of the prisoners were transferred to local hospitals, due to their injuries.
Four guards received burns during the riot. Prison authorities managed to bring the situation under control, and fire fighters were called in to extinguish the flames engulfing the mattresses. Three prisoners died by asphyxiation, due to the smoke.
La Modelo is known as one of Colombia’s most dangerous jails. Common criminals, guerrillas and paramilitaries are all incarcerated in the prison.