Inmates at a Venezuelan prison now include cats as part of their daily menu, amid food shortages that have reached the nation’s penitentiaries, as reported by Venezuelan prisoner-rights NGO A Window to Freedom.
The organization released on Sunday, August 30, two videos via their Facebook page, and they claim that prisoners have resorted to eating cats after prison authorities told them they were no longer able to provide meals.
Furthermore, relatives of inmates allege that authorities told them they were responsible for providing inmates’ food during their stay in jail.
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The videos shows how inmates rip open a cat at the Metropolitan Penitentiary Yare 3, in the northern state of Miranda, just 10 kilometers away from Caracas. Meanwhile a voice can be heard saying “they are humans,” as they surrender to their lowest instincts.
“Detained men and women are under full protection of the Venezuelan state, which is responsible for assuring respect for human rights within the prison,” said Carlos Nieto Palma, general coordinator for the NGO.
Relatives of prisoners have made similar allegations in other prisons. In addition, they claim that inmates are subject to cruel and inhumane treatment, such as beatings with blunt objects.
Some 50,000 people are jailed in Venezuelan prisons, living amid poor conditions in overcrowded prisons prepared for only 19,000 inmates
According to the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons (OVP), 309 inmates died in 2014 as a result of violent attempts to take over the penitentiaries.
The OVP report mentions that only a 36 percent of people in jail have been convicted, and the rest are awaiting trial.
On Monday, August 31, 18 people died and 17 were inured at a fire in Tocuyito prison, near the city of Valencia. Among the victims were seven women who spent the night at the prison visiting the inmates
While authorities launched an investigation to determine the causes, inmates claim an electrical fault due to poor incarceration conditions started the fire.
Sources: El Nacional.