Guards Held Hostage by Rioting Inmates

( – There’s no shortage of violence in Central and South American countries. Oftentimes, they’re rife with corruption and run by drug cartels who rule by fear and violence. In these countries, going to jail doesn’t typically equate to punishment because prisoners run the facilities. A recent incident in Paraguay demonstrates this.

On Tuesday, October 10, a riot broke out in the Tacumbu penitentiary, which currently houses around 4,000 inmates. Local sources relay that the gangs have almost total control of what happens inside. According to BBC News, the inmates took 22 prison guards hostage and held them for more than 15 hours. It was later reported that the Rotela Clan was responsible for the attack, which apparently was in response to the country’s justice minister, Ángel Barchini, wanting to regain control. During the riot, prisoners set fire to the facility, causing damage and attacking security personnel.

The prisoners eventually let the hostages go, but not without hours of negotiation. They originally called for Barchini’s resignation, but that didn’t happen. Some of the demands made by the inmates were for a guarantee of no retaliation for the riot, that the police would agree not to storm the jail, and that it be reopened to take new inmates. It should be noted that the jail is currently well beyond capacity.

It’s not clear what concessions, if any, the authorities agreed to in order to secure the prison guards’ release. Women were also trapped inside the facility while the riot was underway.

This isn’t the only incident where prison guards were taken hostage by prisoners. In July, CNN reported that there were more than 90 guards being held by inmates in five different prison facilities in Ecuador, another South American country. The attacks happen because of criminal organizations that clash behind bars, and hundreds of inmates have died as a result of fighting.

Copyright 2023,