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30% of prisoners have coronavirus – Villavicencio, Colombia

In the city of Villavicencio, over 700 inmates and guards, 30% of the prison population, were reported to have contracted the coronavirus.

In April the Colombian government announced that they would release 4,000 low-risk inmates under house arrest to help curb the spread of the virus however three weeks later only 320 were released.

According to Nelson Barrera, a representative of the prison’s staff, little can be done due to limited space and overcrowding. This has made it “impossible to establish isolation zones required by the Secretary of Health”.

The unsanitary conditions and overcrowding of prisons have led to riots throughout prisons in Latin America in recent weeks.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, maintains that there is considerable concern over the conditions of these prisons in the Americas.

Read more from Al Jazeera.

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