Authorities cut off food, water and power at a prison farm Wednesday where armed inmates were holed up for a fourth day with hundreds of people who were visiting when the prisoners revolted.
"It's the only way we can pressure them," Carlos Ramos Moncada, inspector general of prisons, said of the mutinous inmates. "If we don't they could stay inside for days or weeks," he told reporters as he entered the prison.He said supplies and power was cut off before dawn to the area of the prison controlled by scores of rebellious inmates.
Witnesses said Tuesday that as many as 100 inmates and about 600 visitors had depleted food stocked in the area under their control.
Authorities are unsure whether visitors still inside are hostages or are there to support and protect the rebels.
Negotiations with the prisoners, who took over the Pavon prison farm on Easter Sunday, came to a standstill Tuesday. The inmates were told to lay down their arms and let the civilians leave or face the cutoff of food, water and power.
"We're at an impasse," the Rev. Antonio Lopez Martin, chaplain of Guatemalan prisons said late Tuesday. Lopez is part of the delegation negotiating with the inmates at the facility outside Guatemala City.
The bodies of four guards and three inmates who were killed in Sunday's takeover have been recovered, authorities said. Five others are believed dead, said prison spokesman Conrado Monroy, but their bodies have not been found on the grounds of the 21/2-square-mile prison, Guatemala's largest.
About 20 inmates not among the rebels were transported to another prison on Tuesday. They were seen leaving the prison, handcuffed by twos. Another half dozen visitors who had been inside since Sunday also made their way out.
Most of the prison's 1,350 inmates were not involved in the rebellion, officials said. The facility is designed to house 800 people.
The prison seizure resulted from a frustrated escape attempt, authorities said, when inmates commandeered about 75 M-1 rifles and ammunition from the prison arsenal.
About 1,000 army and police troopers were stationed around the facility. But President Vinicio Cerezo has said force will not be used unless the inmates try to shoot their way out.
The rebels have demanded amnesty for crimes committed since Sunday, reduced sentences, better food and treatment and removal of the facility's current authorities.
The main sticking point in negotiations appears to be the government's inability or unwillingness to guarantee amnesty for crimes committed during the rebellion.