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Guatemala seeking new jails after prison riots

[JURIST] Following gang riots that left at least 33 prison inmates dead [JURIST report] Monday, Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielmann [official website] asked the Guatemalan Congress Tuesday for permission to build new maximum security prisons as part of a new security law. Hundreds of inmates belonging to rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha [Wikipedia backgrounder] and Mara 18, living in at least 6 different prisons, attacked each other with grenades, guns and knives in coordinated attacks following the end of a prison peace treaty. Vielmann urged that the prison system was "about to collapse," but critics argue that it would be too expensive to build and maintain high-tech prisons. Reuters has more.

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