Sometimes the power of the pranes, the defacto rulers of Venezuelan prisons, is not confined to the walls of the jails. They want to impose their will outside and they’re not afraid of using violence to prove it.
One businessman in Maracaibo found out this week after he refused to pay money to the pranes of Sabaneta prison. They went against his properties in one single night: one warehouse deposit was burnt and a small hotel was attacked by gunshots.
That same week, a grenade blew up near a hardware store whose owner didn’t want to pay. Meanwhile, police officers are now legitimate targets with a bounty put on their heads.