April 28, 2020 / 1:39 PM / a month ago

At least three inmates dead after Peruvian prison riot over coronavirus

LIMA, April 28 (Reuters) - At least three inmates died following a Peruvian prison riot over the demand for better sanitary measures and coronavirus medical care, the country’s prison authority said late on Monday.

The protest by inmates, who were also calling for pardons, began Monday afternoon at the Miguel Castro Castro prison, located in the San Juan de Lurigancho district, according to Gerson Villar, head of the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE). The riot was controlled later in the day.

“The cause of their deaths is being investigated,” Villar said of the three inmates who died, speaking to local channel America Television channel.

Peru approved a decree last week that allows President Martin Vizcarra to grant humanitarian pardons to prisoners in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country’s jails, which are currently at more than double capacity.

The INPE has reported 609 cases of coronavirus in prisons, and 113 cases among prison workers. Thirteen inmates have died from the virus.

Peru has 28,699 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second highest number in Latin America, and 782 deaths, according to the health ministry. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; writing by Cassandra Garrison Editing by Alistair Bell)

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