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Riots in Argentine prisons

The inmates climbed to the roofs of the prisons. Authorities reported minor incidents and temporary hostage-taking. Photo: AFP


Groups of prisoners rioted yesterday and went up to the roofs of Argentine prisons in demand for permits to receive visits in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The protests generated tension, but there were no reports of serious incidents, injuries or clashes, in a country where COVID-19 has caused more than 30 thousand deaths and almost one million 160 thousand infections.

Health measures in penal establishments include the prohibition of face-to-face visits by relatives.

The protests took place in the prisons of the towns of Melchor Romero, Florencio Varela, Campana and San Martín, all of them more than 50 km from Buenos Aires, sources from the Buenos Aires Penitentiary Service (SPB) informed the press, cited by the agency state Télam.


An agreement to authorize family visits to prisoners during the pandemic allowed, hours later, to end the riots, the SPB reported.

This agreement was reached through the operation of the dialogue tables that were formed in the prisons of the province of Buenos Aires with authorities from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Judiciary and humanitarian organizations, “said the SPB a statement.

Until now, inmates were allowed to use cell phones and make video calls, according to SPB.