The Battle of Sabaneta Prison Ends (Updated)

In the end, there was no final battle between Sabaneta Prison pran-in-chief “El Mocho Edwin” and State forces. Instead, all the remaining inmates were moved out over the weekend. “El Mocho” backed down on his earlier promise to stay inside Sabaneta no matter what. He was transferred in an armored vehicle to a military aircraft,…

The Battle of Sabaneta Prison, cont.

Sabaneta Prison remains tense, even after a large number of inmates have been transferred to other prisons. Yesterday, the major pran of Sabaneta, “El Mocho Edwin”, made an appereance on the prison’s rooftop, asking for dialogue. Hours earlier, a member of the Prisons Ministry was “allowed” in to Sabaneta to negotiate directly with the pran himself.…

The Battle of Sabaneta Prison

For the second time in a month, a serious spasm of violence convulsed Sabaneta Prison in Maracaibo. The toll this time: 16 people dead. At the center of the violence is a major pran (prison gang boss) who’s known as “El Mocho Edwin”, who took uncontested power of the prison recently. In a garish Syrian twist,…

Bronze medal in prison overcrowding

The Economist posted this chart today about prison overcrowding around the world. Only Haiti and the Philippines have a higher rate of overcrowding than Venezuela. Also, the country’s data sheet from the International Centre for Prison Studies indicate that the total number of inmates in our penitenciary system doubled between 2008 and 2012. The consequences of…

The hell down the street

Last December, Prisons Minister Iris Varela announced the future closing of Sabaneta Prison in Maracaibo. A new jail (currently under construction) outside the city would be its replacement. Everything was going according to plan, until a few days ago. Now, things have changed. The residents of the area where the new prison is being built…

Jail House Night-Club, cont.

Looks like the El Rodeo I’s month-old nightclub won’t the only one up and running in the Venezuelan prison system. According to El Nacional’s crime reporter Thabata Molina, this Good Thrusday will be the brand new opening of a night-club in San Antonio Prison (Margarita Island). For those looking to party but not cozy with…