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Sunday, 24 January, 2021

Female prisoners start a hunger strike in Miranda state

The director of the prison in Los Teques will not allow the entry of food parcels on the upcoming visit day, the first in six months for the 560 female prisoners.

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By Pola Del Giudice.

Prisoners in the National Institute of Women Orientation (Inof in Spanish), a prison located in Los Teques, capital of the state of Miranda, began a hunger strike since Tuesday, September 29. The directorship threatened the inmates with force, sources said.

Relatives of the inmates told El Pitazo that the strike was triggered by the decision of the director not to allow the monthly food parcel during next weekend visit, the first to be received after six months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Miranda is one of the hardest-hit states, and the first cases there were reported in Los Teques.

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Prison director, Judith Rengifo, canceled the benefit of the package. “They get a monthly bag that consisted of sliced bread, nine cookies, and a spread and a portion of prepared food. Thanks to this input, it is what allows the inmates to feed themselves due to the little food they receive daily,” said Graciela Mendoza, a family member of an inmate.

Inmates decided to hunger strike days before the visit resumes, to protest the measure “either food parcel or visit” policy.

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“According to the prison director, since we will now be able to enter the prison, it is not necessary to allow the package,” they said. For the last two months, families have denounced that the food the inmates receive is only rice and bean water.

“The inmates demand that their right to survive to be respected due to the lack of food and the response was that there was no way back and that if they wanted to take over the prison, that she had the media to take control by force,” they concluded.

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