Bolivia prisons improve, thanks to pope

Pope Francis greets faithful during the Angelus, traditional sunday's prayer Regina Coeli, in St.Peter Square, Vatican City, Vatican, 16 August 2015.  ANSA / MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Pontiff visited notorious Palmasola prison in July tour

ANSA – Vatican City, August 17

The Bolivian government has taken measures to improve prison conditions after mediation by Pope Francis during his July 10 visit to the South American country, Vatican Radio reported Monday.
Measures include increasing the amount spent on prisoners’ upkeep and improvements in prison health care, Bolivian prison officials said.
During his apostolic visit, Francis visited Bolivia’s notorious Palmasola prison and its 5,000 inmates as part of his South America tour.
Palmasola is often referred to in Latin American media as one of the worst examples of overcrowded prisons in a continent renowned for having some of the world’s largest and most dangerous detention facilities.
Two years ago 34 of Palmasola’s inmates, along with a two-year-old child, died and hundreds were injured in clashes between groups of prisoners, some of whom were armed with machetes.
The government of Evo Morales launched a plan to grant amnesty to certain categories of prisoners in anticipation of the pope’s arrival.
Very few were able to benefit, given that the vast majority have yet to be sentenced.


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