March 14, 2018 / 7:41 PM / 8 months ago

At least six die in Bolivia prison uprising

A relative of inmates of Palmasola prison reacts after a violent episode inside the prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Rodrigo Urzagasti

LA PAZ (Reuters) - At least six inmates died and more than 20 were injured in a Bolivian prison on Wednesday while attempting to resist a police search of the Palmasola jail in Santa Cruz, the government said.

Earlier on Wednesday, some 2,000 police entered the prison where they found fire arms, an alcohol distillery, cocaine and marijuana, according to the general commander of the Bolivian Police Faustino Mendoza. He said six police were shot and injured.

Some 5,000 men and women are incarcerated in Palmasola, where a clash between inmates in 2013 left 34 people dead. The government recently ordered the evacuation of dozens of children who had been living with their parents at the prison after because of child prostitution.

Overcrowded and violent prisons are common throughout much of Latin America. In Brazil last year more than 140 inmates died in just over two weeks due to fighting between rival gangs.

Reporting by Danny Ramos; Writing by Caroline Stauffer

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