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“Prison crisis and the Carabobo massacre: the state is responsible”

Marea Socialista

The Venezuelan tendency tackles the prison massacre where 68 inmates were killed probably as an outcome of police action.


From Marea Socialista, we would like to declare our indignation before the terrible tragedy in Carabobo that took place on March 29th, an event that has not yet been clarified officially.


Despite the lack of information, our certainty is that 68 families are in mourning for an event for which the state holds absolute responsibility, since there is no condition of biggest dependence and control from the state than the one an inmate sees himself in. Many means of communication have insisted in naming the fact a massacre, since among the accounts of family members it is held that the policemen themselves threw gasoline on the convicts, with a confrontation having also been mentioned. What is certain, beyond the discretionary and obscure management operated by the government through the security forces and institutions involved, is that there is no hiding the terrible situation of Venezuelan prisons, as well as the utter abandon of the current 45.000 prisoners that are found in a prison system that can only hold 8.000 convicts.


The numbers are dramatic, not only in the Carabobo Detention Center, where the cells had a 600% overcrowding with inmates that had been there for months or even years awaiting trial. These detention centers or “mini-jails” are also going out of control. There is not a minimal guarantee by the state, the prisoners are packed without food, without medical attention, and under a social stratification imposed by the “capos” that rule above the police and the laws.


The government should take responsibility, and even if the prosecution of policemen is a step towards justice, it cannot be left aside that this event is a result of the state’s deliberate omission in its duty to ensure and protect the life of the general population, including inmates and their families.


Even more infuriating is knowing that the answer for the despair caused by lack of information was the horrible treatment of the victim’s family members, who were repressed with tear gas while demanding answers.


Once more it was demonstrated that, to the government, the humble people are not a matter of interest and that their politics of omission of their duties before the population through a criminal pact with the “capos” has made prisons degenerate into hell where castes, privileges and exclusion also predominate.


We demand:

  • That justice is served and that the government have the minimal decency to discharge Iris Valera of her minister position, since these events are her direct responsibility.
  • That the inappropriate use of police stations as detention sites is stopped.
  • Haste in every judicial proceedings and the compliance to legal dispositions by the prison system.
  • Justice and attention to the families.


April 4th


Article originally published in aporrea.org

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