Honduras fire inmates not convicted
COMAYAGUA, HONDURAS (BDCi) – The prisoners whose scorched bodies were carried out piece by piece Thursday morning from a charred Honduran prison had been locked inside an overcrowded penitentiary where most inmates had never been charged, let alone convicted, according to an internal Honduran government report obtained by The Associated Press.
The Honduran government report, which was sent to the United Nations this month, said 57 percent of some 800 inmates of the Comayagua farm prison north of the Central American country’s capital were either awaiting trial or being held as suspected gang members.
A fire that witnesses said was started by an inmate tore through the prison Tuesday night, burning and suffocating screaming men in their locked cells as srescuers desperately searched for keys. Officials confirmed 358 dead, making it the world’s deadliest prison fire in a century.
Honduran authorities said they are still investigating other possible causes based on prisoner accounts, including that the fire could have been set in collusion with guards to stage a prison break.
By: Natania Levine
16 February 2012
10:05 a.m P.S.T