Asunción, Oct 10 (EFE).- Riot police entered the Tacumbú penitentiary, Paraguay’s central prison, on Tuesday amid rioting by inmates who set fire to the main entrance to the facility and threw objects and stones from the roof.
The uniformed officers evicted women protesting at the gates of Tacumbú to demand that the media be allowed in and requested the presence of the Minister of Justice, Angel Barchini.
Members of the riot squad, shield in hand, removed the relatives.
Other troops controlled the flames in the internal part of the building to gain access.
Another fire broke out on the prison roof, which forced the intervention of the firefighters.
Tempers in Tacumbú, located in Asunción, began to heat up after the inmates called the press on Tuesday afternoon to disseminate a video attributed to a policeman who allegedly escaped from that place.
“I am making this video to prove that I am alive, that I was not dismembered,” said a man who identified himself as Oliver Lezcano.
The policeman is facing a trial with his wife for the alleged murder of a military man whose body was found days after he disappeared while driving a cab linked to an app.
On October 2, Barchini warned that the police officer may have been kidnapped and killed in the penitentiary by the Rotela clan, linked to drug trafficking in the country.
Lezcano’s alleged escape led on September 28 to the dismissal of Tacumbú prison director Manuel Garay, who Luis Esquivel replaced.
Amid the tension outside the prison, local media reported the statement of an official who warned about the alleged detention of a group of guards and apparently of family members without fully confirming this version.
Asked about the events in Tacumbú, Barchini assured C9N channel that the situation “did not get out of control.”
“We are going to use all the necessary means so that with prudence, but with firmness, the Paraguayan State retakes control of all the penitentiary centers,” he affirmed.
The head of Justice assured that they have an intelligence service “inside and outside the penitentiary,” which, he said, are “informing the latter of everything happening.”
Barchini admitted that “there is a high component of corruption” in the penitentiary centers of the country but warned that they are not “willing to any type of negotiation.”
In any case, he indicated that there would be “respect for the law” and “unrestricted respect for human rights.” EFE
lb/ar (foto) (video)