Situation in Venezuelan Prisons Worsens

Situation in Venezuelan Prisons Worsens 

From the Editors of VenEconomy

Venezuela’s penitentiary system has been ravaged by the revolutionary "marabunta"  (wolf spider) for many years now.

Recent events include those that took place at the Rodeo I and II prisons (Guatire, Miranda state) in 2011 that left 16 dead and more than 20 people wounded, as well as other detention centers such as Uribana (Lara state), Tocorón (Aragua state) or La Planta (Caracas). The latter was shut down in 2012.

Wounded Uribana prisoner, from Reportero 24.com, 
which reported over 100 prisoners were massacred by 
the venezuelan National Guard in January 2013. 

In addition are the countless reports of national NGOs on the critical situation of overcrowding (with a prison population estimated at 53,000 people, or more than double the available places), unsanitary conditions, lack of medical care, absence of educational and social reintegration programs, procedural delays, anarchy and the power of the "pranes" (the defacto rulers of Venezuelan prisons), among others.

Update note: last night El Universal reported the arrest of the Uribana prison director, who is accused of poisoning and murdering 35 prisoners. There are conflicting reports about this incident, ranging from a mass suicide effort by over 100 prisoners, to a lower number of suicides followed up by an opportunistic massacre carried out by jail authorities. The occurrence of mass murder in venezuelan jails has been frequent during the chavista era, this is pointed out by ngo's and UN human rights experts.

The el Universal article in spanish


More in english from Euronews


Here is a link to a short YouTube report about the incident:


Reports that have reached international bodies such as the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which has filed about seven precautionary measures for more than a decade due to the delicate prison situation in the country. In January of this year, for example, after receiving several Venezuelan NGOs in audience, the IACHR described the situation of violence, overcrowding and deaths in local prisons as being "very serious."

Uribana Prison inmates suffered from a mass poisoning
event in November 2014, here we see their shocked
 relatives as they hear the news. 

The chaotic situation in prisons, far from being corrected, gets worse by the day. Now, as if the blood bath imposed to other prisoners by the pranes was not enough, it is added to this the practice of repression, especially against a new type of prisoners: students and demonstrators who have disagreed with the Government, who are being sent to highly dangerous prisons not only to serve their sentences, but for preventive detention while they stand cooked and supervised trials by the National Executive.

A week ago it was learned that Raúl Emilio Baduel (the son of Gen. Raúl Baduel, former Defense Minister and one of the prisoners of the late President Hugo Chávez) and Alexander Tirado, who are standing trial for the protests that started in February of 2014, have been cruelly tortured by troops and custodians of the Uribana prison, leaving after-effects of fractures and burns all over their bodies. The Uribana inmates declared a strike on Monday due to the precarious conditions in the prison and to denounce alleged violations to their human rights and cruel and degrading treatment.

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