Uruguayan Police Kill Two Inmates during Prison Riot
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) _ Police killed two inmates and wounded two others Wednesday in quelling a prison riot, then transferred all of the penitentiary’s 628 inmates to another jail, authorities said.
Interior Minister Antonio Marchesano said the violence at Punta Carretas Penitentiary broke out in the early morning when several inmates tried to break out. When guards foiled the attempt, the prisoners started rioting, fled to the prison roof and began shooting, he said.
It was not immediately clear how the inmates obtained firearms.
More than 100 federal police were called in and in a heavy exchange of gunfire killed Jorge Roland, 38, and Victor Fernandez Garrido, 22, both serving sentences for armed robbery and other offenses, Marchesano told reporters.
″At times the firing of machine guns was intense,″ a woman who lived near the prison, in a residential section near downtown, said in an interview broadcast by Radio Espectador of Montevideo.
Order was restored by midmorning. All of the penitentiary’s inmates were trucked under heavy guard to Libertad Prison, about 30 miles northeast of Montevideo. Marchesano said they would remain there until the Punta Carretas prison was repaired.
The prison area was cordoned off during the mass transfer, with relatives of inmates watching on and shouting insults at guards.
A week ago, authorities discovered a freshly dug escape tunnel at the Punta Carretas Penitentiary. A day later, an inmate was found killed, apparently by other prisoners who suspected him of revealing the tunnel’s existence to guards.