Chile: Red Cross Supplies Medicines and Helps Prisoners Contact Families

Santiago de Chile–(ENEWSPF)–12 March 2010.  The earthquake and tidal wave that struck Chile on 27 February also affected the inmates of prisons in the Bío-Bío and Maule districts. In Lebu, prisoners had to be evacuated to a school after the collapse of an external wall. They are now back in their place of detention.

For several days, ICRC mobile family links teams visited prisons in Concepción, Lebu and Talca. Thanks to satellite phones, 70 prisoners were able to talk to their families for the first time since the quake and let them know that they were unhurt.

In one prison that the ICRC visited, basic health care is being dispensed under canvas as the sick-bay was destroyed. In response to a request from the prison service health section and in close association with the Chilean Red Cross, the ICRC provided medicines and medical supplies to meet the inmates’ needs.

The ICRC regularly visits prisoners in Chile to check on the conditions of detention, from a physical and psychological angle, and on the way prisoners are treated by the authorities. In particular, ICRC delegates visit people detained in relation to the situation of the native Mapuche people.

 

Source: icrc.org