Escape of 145 inmates from prison in Haiti
PORT AU PRINCE | A total of 145 detainees — two-thirds of the prison population — managed to escape Thursday from a women’s prison in Haiti, confirmed Monday the head of the penitentiary administration of the country immersed in the instability.
“At the time of the events, there were 230 prisoners in the prison centre, 145 were able to escape,” Inspector General Pierre René François, head of the prison administration, told AFP. He said a policeman had been killed.
“Of the 145 inmates who fled, three were recovered while one died. She had breathing difficulties because she suffered from asthma,” the senior official added.
This prison for women is located in the town of Cabaret, on the west coast of Haiti, on the northern outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince.
According to the first conclusions of the investigation revealed by Pierre René François, one of the guards would have « committed the imprudence to open the block of detention whereas the number of guards was in short supply ».
“The detainees threw themselves on the agents, overpowered them, in order to be able to escape,” reported the inspector general, stressing that wanted notices would be published soon.
During the events, three police officers were injured and another killed in a police station located not far from the prison, by assailants who were preventing the security forces from regaining control of the prison. The extremely confused circumstances of the attack explain the delay with which this assessment was known.
Massive escapes of this type are not uncommon in Haiti, where they are fostered by widespread corruption and the decay of institutions. Prison overcrowding is also a national scourge.