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Honduras prison fire: Porfirio Lobo vows full inquiry

  • 2-16-2012

Honduras President Porfirio Lobo has pledged a "full and transparent" investigation after a fire at a jail killed more than 350 inmates.

Mr Lobo also suspended local and national prison officials while the inquiry into the "unacceptable" tragedy at the jail in Comayagua was conducted.

Many victims were burned or suffocated to death in their cells.

Human Rights Watch said the disaster was ultimately the result of chronic overcrowding in Honduran jails.

It also blamed poor conditions and called for the prison system to be overhauled.

"Given that Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, authorities have been locking up convicted and suspected criminals, but failing to address the conditions in which they are being held," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

The authorities are trying to establish whether the blaze in the overcrowded prison was started deliberately by an inmate or was caused by an electrical fault.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC

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