Venezuela families occupy Yare prison in protest

Inmate in a cell in an unidentified Venezuelan prison The Venezuelan government has promised to reform the prison system

Related Stories

Almost 1,000 relatives of prisoners in Venezuela have refused to leave a jail in protest at the conditions there.

The relatives - mostly women - stayed on in Yare prison near Caracas after spending the new year's holiday with their jailed relatives.

They are protesting against alleged abuses and delays in sentencing.

Prisons minister Iris Varela says the protesters have "kidnapped themselves" - but she is negotiating to end the stand off.

"This is not the way to apply pressure," she said.

Ms Varela also accused campaign groups that have criticised conditions inside Venezuela's prisons of being "financed by the CIA".

Venezuela's jails are notoriously violent and overcrowded.

President Hugo Chavez created the ministry of prisons last July to reform the system after a major uprising at El Rodeo jail outside Caracas.

An estimated 300 prisoners are killed inside prisons in Venezuela each year, according to human rights groups.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features

  • chocolate cake and strawberriesTrick your tongue

    Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?


  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George leaving New Zealand'Great ambassadors'

    How New Zealand reacted to William, Kate - and George


  • Major Power Failure ident on BBC2Going live

    Why BBC Two's launch was not all right on the night


  • Front display of radio Strange echoes

    The mysterious 'numbers stations' left over from the Cold War era


  • A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child'Be a star'

    Children's uplifting letters of hope to homeless Syrians


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.