Prison Takeovers, Austerity Protests Wind Down in Argentina
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Awave of prison rebellions throughout Argentina ended on Dec. 22 when inmates in Bahia Blanca reached an agreement with government negotiators. The inmates turned the institution back over to authorities only after they agreed to address the prisoners' demands and promised no reprisals. The prisoners were demanding respect for their human rights, commutation of sentences and a streamlining of the judicial process. (Radio Havana Cuba Latin America Newsline 12/22/93) The prison takeovers began on Dec. 16 when more than 200 inmates took over the facility at Bahia Blanca. At the peak of the rebellion on Dec. 21, close to 3,000 inmates had control of 14 prisons across Argentina and were holding more than 80 hostages, most of them guards. That same day, Justice Minister Jorge Maiorano announced that he would send a bill to the Parliament proposing the reduction of sentences and speeding up of the trial process. On Dec. 21 the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo announced its solidarity with the prisoners and condemned the government repression carried out against many of the inmates. (ED-LP 12/22193 from AFP)