The Inmates Are Running Venezuela’s Prisons. They’ve Created Autonomous Micro-Dictatorships.
The inmates have overtaken many prisons in Venezuela, armed with automatic weapons and grenades. They are governed by criminal gangs led by a “pran,” or kingpin, who strictly enforces the “thug code” by which all prisoners must abide, or they will be shot in various body parts. It’s too dangerous for guards or federal troops to enter, so they patrol the perimeter and train their rifles on any inmate who tries to leave.
Inside the walls, the prisoners have formed functional, independent societies with open-air bazaars offering everything from Coca-Cola to crack cocaine. Several days a week, they welcome their girlfriends, wives, children, and extended families for visits, birthday parties, and even music festivals.
Communal activities are funded by La Causa, or “The Cause,” a tax that the prison’s de facto government collects from most inmates to purchase goods that come into the facility. If they don’t pay, they are sent to The Church, which acts as both a house of worship and a debtors’ prison-within-the-prison.
La Causa, a new documentary from 29-year-old filmmaker André
Article from Latest – Reason.com