Funerals have token place over the past several days for some of the over 350 inmates who died in a major prison fire last week in Comayagua, Honduras. Their mourning is mixed with anger and distrust against authorities who may be handing over the incorrect remains of their loved ones.
Though the fire occurred in Honduras, the incident could have easily occurred in a region rife with problems relating to the prison system including overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Over the weekend alone forty-four people died in a Mexican prison riot that may have served as a cover for a planned escape by thirty inmates. Meanwhile border agents in Chile and Bolivia were placed on high alert after over a dozen convicts escaped from a Peruvian prison yesterday.
The following video is an excerpt from a documentary entitled “Under the Brazilian Sun” that examines the many dilemmas in the Brazilian prison system including extreme overcrowding:
As noted in the latest edition of the BBC World Service’s “World Have You Say” program, the tragedy in Comayagua has led to increased scrutiny of the prison systems in Honduras as well as the Americas. But will this lead to serious and meaningful reforms or will history sadly repeat itself?
What do you think?
Video Source – YouTube via MsReever
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, La Republica, BBC World Service, Listverse