Heckuvajob, Iris!

Who says that people can't have a good time when there's a prison riot?

Who said people can’t have a good time during a prison riot?

Prisons Minister Iris Varela admitted in an interview with Últimas Noticias that their staff have access to only seven of the thirty prisons active in Venezuela today.

She also blamed last month’s events in Uribana to possible score-setting between “negative leaders” (pranes). So, what was the point then of having a dozen military tanks outside of the prison at the time?

The UN interview (with video) is here.

8 thoughts on “Heckuvajob, Iris!

  1. So I have a stoooooo-pid question. If only about one quarter of the prisons are under the control of the officials tasked with their running, how are prisoners that have paid their debt to society supposed to be re integrated into society? By the same token how are new offenders supposed to be pay their debt?


  2. I have a more practical question: how do they keep the prisoners inside those 23 prisons? Does the government merely guard the perimeter?


    • That’s the role of the National Guard, keep them inside with heavy arms… but apparently since ever, the national guard has been the source for illegal activities inside the prisons from drug trafficking to arms dealers.

      Well it’s hard to put everyone in the same sack of bad potatoes, but these folks seems to enjoy running the prisons, borders, airports and ports, they don’t miss the opportunity to get their hands dirty.


    • David,

      To begin to understand the insanity that is the Venezuelan prison system, you have to read this:


      After you have read that, understand that the prison that this article is about is filled mostly with drug offenders. The majority are filled with truly violent people. The Pran of each prison is the one who is the most brutal and effective at terrorlzing his fellow inmates into submission. There is no law inside the prison, other than that imposed by themselves, or by the pran. Think “Lord of the Flies”. There is plenty of money, drugs and guns in these prisons. You also have to realize that the perimeters are porous, because the prans pay off the guards to allow import and export. Any guard that caused trouble would be shot. The prans are far more powerful than the people “in charge” of their incarceration.

      Once, I even saw the Pran of the Margarita prison when he came to the cafe I was at. “El Conejo” (The Rabbit) simply arrived with the prison guards acting more like his own personal body guards. There was no question as to who was in charge and who was subordinate.

      It would be completely understandable for anyone who does not know Venezuela to think that this is pure fiction. But, it is the truth.


      • Yup, some of these things have to be seen to truly be believed. David, think of the perimeter security as a formality. The truly powerful prisoners don’t have to be kept in prison because they practically stay in there of their own free will. It’s too profitable to not do so. Think of Venezuelan prisons as highly adaptive organic networks aimed at maximizing profit while operating within the decaying husk of a severely degraded state institution.


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