Caracas, March 13, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan authorities excavated at least fourteen cadavers over the weekend from a mass grave in the General Penitentiary of Venezuela in Guarico state.
On Friday, police and forensic experts unearthed seven bodies, with the preliminary tally increasing to fourteen over the course of Saturday.
The cadavers are suspected to belong to prisoners who were executed by criminal gangs operating in the penitentiary. According to a press release by the Public Prosecutor’s office, nine of the bodies had their heads missing.
Authorities have vowed to continue the process of exhuming and identifying the bodies as well as determining the cause of death over the coming hours and days.
The General Penitentiary of Venezuela was temporarily closed six months ago by the Ministry of Penitentiary Services as part of an initiative to reform the nation’s prison system, which has long suffered from severe overcrowding and entrenched criminal networks.
Penitentiary Services Minister Iris Varela has indicated that 98 percent of Venezuela’s carceral facilities are now reportedly under the new model, which seeks to “transform the human being in order to not commit crimes”.