Venezuela's bishops issued a statement yesterday protesting over conditions in the country's prisons, after it was confirmed that in the General Penitentiary of Venezuela in San Juan de Los Morros, Guárico state, inmates have died of tuberculosis, healthcare is very poor, and there is a shortage of food.
The news reached the media after inmates posted messages and videos on social media showing many sick men barely able to walk, appealing 'not to be left to die like this.'
Relatives of the prisoners are launching a campaign for conditions to be improved.
The Bishops said in a statement: "We support the appeal that families, especially wives, children and mothers of prisoners, are launching for their relatives arrested and detained. They are human beings, Venezuelan citizens who have a right to be heard and respected."
Among the complaints, are: a lack of real information, deaths of prisoners due to tuberculosis, the prohibition of visits, lack of food, and the ill-treatment of prisoners.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference calls on the Authorities of the state and the Ministry of People's Power for the Prison Service to "solve the problems of the penitentiary centre and fully guarantee the human rights of detainees and their families, in the terms established by international law for these fundamental rights."