Headline — 10 August 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Small riot at Central Prison

Dissatisfied with their treatment at the Kolbe Foundation-managed prison, 8 remanded prisoners riot

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 8, 2019– There was a riot at the Belize Central Prison yesterday when eight remanded prisoners who are housed in Tango 11 became dissatisfied with the treatment they had been receiving from the prison authorities and decided to take matters into their own hands.

The Kolbe Foundation, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Belize Central Prison, wasted no time, and the prison’s Quick Response Team (QRT) put down the rebels in about twenty minutes after the small riot began around 11:00 a.m.

The prisoners were dissatisfied with their recreation time, which had come to an end on Wednesday, and they decided to make their dissatisfaction known.

During the melee, the prisoners held one prison officer hostage and two other prison officers sustained injuries. Prison authorities, however, failed to mention that two prisoners had suffered serious injuries in the prison’s effort to put down the rebellion.

Just before we went to press tonight, the mother of one of the injured prisoners called our newspaper to complain that her son was injured during the riot, and he was taken to the hospital, but upon his return to the prison, he had not been given his medication.

The mother, who spoke to us but requested that her name not be mentioned, said that her son has already been placed in “the hole” at the prison.

“The hole” describes the place where prisoners are kept in solitary confinement, sometimes for months on end. Authorities at the prison refer to the hole as “administrative segregation,” and that was where all the rebelling prisoners will find themselves.

Marvin Phillips, 20, has been on remand for the offense of belonging to a criminal gang, and is still attending court. Phillips suffered a broken hand during the riot and had to be taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Philips was transported to the hospital along with another prisoner who also suffered serious injuries during the prison riot.

Today, Amandala spoke with the Chief Executive Officer of the prison, Virgilio Murillo, who told us that the riot started in Tango 11. He told us that one of his prison officers was attacked by the prisoners. Two other officers were around and they challenged the prisoners who had attacked the prison guard.

Murillo said it was a total of eight prisoners who were involved in the riot.

Murillo said that the eight prisoners who participated in the mini-riot were dissatisfied with the condition that they are living under at the prison.

We asked Murillo, if the prison will institute any disciplinary measures against the eight prisoners.

Murillo confirmed that the prisoners have already been subjected to segregation because they committed gross personal violence against the prison staff.

The CEO said that all the prisoners are remanded and that six of the eight prisoners are on remand for murder.

Tango 11 holds 119 prisoners, Murillo told us, and many of the prisoners who were not involved in the riot assisted the prison guards.

Murillo also confirmed that all the prisoners are gang-affiliated.

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Deshawn Swasey

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