Inmates cells are full of human feces in Los Teques, relatives report

Police are allowing parents and other relatives to come into the cells and help clean the mess, as there is only one backed-up toilet for 244 inmates. Prison is overcrowded and conditions there are unhealthy, they say.

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The family members were outside the Los Teques courthouse, where they handed in a document. Photo by Pola Del Giudice.

By Pola Del Giudice.

Some 60 women, relatives of the 244 detainees in the cells of the Scientific and Investigation Police (Cicpc in Spanish) a provisional detention center in Los Teques, protested this Monday, July 27, in front of a courthouse in the capital of Miranda state to demand speedy proceedings and denounce the precarious conditions and overcrowding of the headquarters.

Hygienic conditions have deteriorated so that police took the unusual step of allowing relatives to enter the jail, to help out with the cleaning. The appalling conditions found there include cells full of human waste since the 244 prisoners currently there all must share one toilet.

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“We have to go into the jails every day to collect the excrement and waste of the detainees because they only have one latrine, and collapsed,” sources told El Pitazo.

Crisna Gonzalez, sister of an imprisoned man, said that disease is rampant in the facility. She says that police versions of four inmates sick with COVID-19 are not confirmed, mostly, because the prisoners have not tested yet.

“The officers are the sick ones, and the detainees have not been testing yet,” she said. González also adding that they introduced a list of petitions to the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to request the renewal of the trials of detainees who have spent two years waiting for a preliminary hearing that should happen in the first 45 days of the detention.

Family members stressed that during the pandemic, the overcrowding has worsened since courts stopped working months ago.

“There are scabies, lice, diarrhea, and other diseases without anyone taking care of them,” they warned. Since January 2019, there has not been a medical day (visit by doctors and nurses to treat all inmates) for detainees.

Gonzalez added that the detainees announced a blood strike -a violent protest where inmates self-harm- to get a response from the authorities. “Two weeks ago, they began a hunger strike and suspended it because they promised a special attention plan for the trials,” she said.

The relatives replied that they are continuing protesting daily in front of the courts until authorities heard them. This Monday, they received a letter at the office of the Palace of Justice in Los Teques.

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