There is an article in El Universal today about the debacle of the La Planta Caracas ex-(?)-jail that defies any common sense. Here, the excerpts:
First, a reminder. This blog has followed the dismal situation in Venezuelan jails since ever. But what happened in La Planta this month defies any rationality and faith in humanity. In short: the overcrowded jail of La Planta went into some type of riot and held the regime in check. In the end, the regime negotiated, in a negotiation that looks more like an agreement between to gangs of bandits than between mutineer in jails and the state arm of the justice. Today we get details.
First, the minister of jails, Iris Varela admits that she does not know who, how many, are transferred where. Please! I am not expecting her to drive them to their new jails, but she does not know what she is supposed to be in charge of? Nothing? And she admits it? She is not even able to say "you need to ask so and so who I put in charge of this particular aspect as he has not reported to me yet due to unforeseen circumstances". this is a new low in the arrogance of Chavez appointees that have no clue that they actually are supposed to have responsibilities for which they should in theory account for. It is not a matter that they stop any pretense, it is becoming a matter of whether they ever had even a hint about their job duties.....
But does it matter who is sent where? We learn that the jails where the La Planta folks are dispatched are supposedly built to house 3,000 inmates. They are in fact housing 8,458. ALMOST 3 TIMES as many!!!! And with the one on their way we are crashing that barrier happily. Surely we can expect for riots in these jails. Is Iris Varela ready?
La Planta had, we are told, 3 leaders among its inmates. THREE LEADERS: Let's think about that for a second. We are told that they negotiate their surrender as long as they were allowed to take their money and drugs with them. I am speechless. That is the part I read three times.....
The three leaders, or "pranes" have requested to go to the Guarico jail to be incorporated in the self government of that jail. That is right, that jail is autonomous and the "authorities" have not passed roll call in weeks so we do not know what is going on inside. Has Iris Varela any comment on that subject? Is the Guarico jail the next La Planta?
The inmates were not allowed to take their belongings otherwise. Those included microwave ovens, refrigerators and what not. The inmates cooked their food? Had cold beers? What services did La Planta offer?
By the way, the inmates were evacuated taking normal buses, no handcuffs, no chains. When Judge Afiuni goes to her trial or to see her doctor she is heavily chained and has quite an escort. But then again she is really, really dangerous, she is a political prisoner of Chavez.
Once La Planta was evacuated they had to come in with experts and dogs to search the joint for explosives. They found apparently a huge stash of weaponry, expired military issue. Are we going to learn how military discontinued weaponry found its way inside La Planta in amounts enough to create an inmate militia able to keep in check the Venezuelan army and Caracas for several days?
Conclusion: for La Planta to have been able to acquire drugs and weapons in such an extent, and for the inmates to be able to negotiate their withdrawal with their "belongings" of drugs and cash (the rest they left behind, from microwaves to furniture), there is only one explanation: the Venezuelan army is a bunch of criminal thugs just as the inmates in La Planta. What we witnessed this week was just a negotiation to end a P.R. problem, but all will continue as usual, with pranes running their drug trafficking scheme from jails while the Nazional Guard cashes in. We are beyond narco-state status.