The Glendairy Prison in Barbados, which was set ablaze during a riot involving inmates yesterday. Inmates of Barbados' lone prison lit fires and fought guards and each other for a second day, in violence that left one prisoner dead and eight injured yesterday, the island's attorney general said.
A group of prisoners forced to remain overnight in the yard at Glendairy Prison located outside the capital tried to break through an inner fence and escape, Attorney General Mia Mottley said. No prisoners got away, authorities said.
One inmate was shot and killed yesterday following an attack on a prison guard, Mottley said.
The prisoners then beat another inmate, leaving him with a fractured skull, Mottley said. The other injuries were a prisoner who had gunshot wounds to his thighs, another with rope burns around his neck who appeared to be partially strangled, a prisoner with lacerations to his scalp and three other inmates and a prison guard who suffered smoke inhalation, she said.
Barbados authorities had restored order, but Mottley said she would request 120 soldiers from other Caribbean nations to help with security and they should be in the country of 277,000 residents within the next 48 hours. The government dispatched at least 80 Barbados soldiers to the prison to prevent inmates from escaping.
"(The prisoners) are still completely within the control of the law enforcement officers," Mottley told reporters.
It was the third prison in the Caribbean to explode in violence since February. In the Dominican Republic, 136 died and 16 were injured March 7 in one of Latin America's worst jailhouse fires when rival gangs battling for control of the drug trade in the jail in the eastern town of Higuey set bedding ablaze. In February, nearly 500 prisoners escaped from Haiti's overcrowded National Penitentiary after a small band of men attacked the prison.
Barbados' 150-year-old Glendairy Prison currently holds almost 1,000 prisoners though the structure was built to hold about 350 inmates. The US State Department's 2005 report on human rights said that conditions at Glendairy "remained inadequate".
Barbados' government has already transferred about 70 inmates to army headquarters and they will move another 450 inmates to two undisclosed locations within the next five days, officials said. The remaining prisoners will remain at Glendairy in the meantime as officials discuss building a new prison.
Yesterday, a group of prisoners relit blazes from smouldering wood left over from a blaze Tuesday at Glendairy Prison, private Voice of Barbados Radio reported.
A total of 21 people have been injured in the past two days at the prison. Thirteen were injured Tuesday. Several buildings have sustained severe damage and the roof of the female prison wing caved in.
Some inmates, in cell phone calls yesterday, said they were protesting because they had not been given food and water while being kept overnight in the prison yard and were forced to sleep on the bare ground and not under tents as promised, the radio station reported.
Tuesday's blaze started when prisoners set mattresses on fire during a fight, authorities said. The prisoners were upset because officers had ignored their allegations that another inmate had tried to sexually assault several prisoners, Mottley said.
A Voice of Barbados Radio report on Tuesday, however, said the unrest may have began because prisoners were upset about overcrowded conditions.