BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 20 September, 2002, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Inmates killed in Dominican jail riot
An injured inmate is treated in hospital
Prisoners started the fire in protest
At least 28 prisoners have died in a fire started during a riot at a jail in the Dominican Republic, police say.

Trouble broke out at the La Vega prison in the north of the country when warders began searching cells for weapons.

Map of Dominican Republic showing Santo Domingo and La Vega
The prisoners started a fire by burning mattresses and sheets.

Most of the victims are thought to have died from smoke inhalation.

At least 20 more prisoners were seriously injured.

A BBC correspondent in the country's capital, Santo Domingo, says like prisons in the Dominican Republic - as in much of Latin America - are overcrowded and poorly managed.

He says inmates are often found in possession of arms, drugs and mobile phones.

One report said the prison at La Vega, about 70 miles (110 kilometres) north-west of Santo Domingo, was built to hold 300 inmates, but houses many more.

Prison violence

The riot was the latest violent incident in prisons in the Caribbean nation.

In January, two inmates were killed and five were injured in La Vega when a brawl erupted during an apparent escape attempt.

In March 2000, 11 prisoners were killed and 28 more hurt after a fire in La Victoria jail in Santo Domingo.

Relatives of the dead complained of mass overcrowding, saying there were more than 3,000 inmates being held in the facility built for 800.

See also:

14 Jul 02 | Americas
20 Jul 02 | Americas
20 Jul 02 | Country profiles
Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes