One prisoner was killed and five guards taken hostage in a siege at Almafuerte prison in Mendoza on Saturday. The siege lasted for seven hours at the jail, which is located 40km from the provincial capital.
According to official reports, inmates managed to take the wing after prisoner Diego Casanova faked convulsions and guards opened his cell to help him. Casanova’s two cellmates overcame the guards and arrested the keys off them.
Once in control of the sector, they opened the cell of one of the inmates and stabbed him 11 times. The victim, 35-year-old Darío Vega, had been serving an 18 year sentence for rape and sexual abuse of minors, was stabbed to death.
“The bad relationship between the murdered inmate and those who started the revolt was known and had been going on for various months,” said David Mangiafico, of the subsecretary of justice.
But the victim’s family do not believe his death was a ‘settling of accounts’ between prisoners, as during visiting times on Friday his sister had been insulted by prison guards. They suspect the guards themselves were involved in Vega’s death.
Conditions in prisons in Argentina are notoriously bad, with a prisoner dying on average every two days, according to Amnesty International.