Caracas – Venezuelan authorities have recovered control of a prison near Caracas from hundreds of armed inmates who mutinied last month, Interior Minister Tarek el Aissami said Wednesday.
"We have resolved (the situation) in a peaceful manner," he told state-run media. "At this moment we have absolute control in the El Rodeo II installation."
The inmates are gathered in the prison courtyards, where they are receiving food and medical attention under the supervision of militarized police, the minister said.
"During these long days we have been appealing to dialogue to try to resolve the conflict in a peaceful way, to try to get the mafias that ruled inside the prison to abandon their violent stance and permit the authorities of our government to conduct the search," El Aissami said.
The ringleaders of the mutiny are being held in isolation and police are searching the prison for guns, he said.
It was June 17 when the Venezuelan government deployed 5,000 militarized police to quell uprisings at the neighboring El Rodeo I and El Rodeo II prisons, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the capital.
El Rodeo I was quickly subdued, though as the cost of three dead - two of them police - and a score of other officers wounded.
Authorities then laid siege to El Rodeo II, opting for negotiations instead of a frontal assault.
Disturbances at the prisons began after a June 12 armed clash inside El Rodeo I that left 22 people dead.