HomeNewsBriefInmates Free 1,550 Hostages Held in Venezuela Prison
BRIEF

Inmates Free 1,550 Hostages Held in Venezuela Prison

VENEZUELA / 5 OCT 2011 BY JEANNA CULLINAN EN

Inmates at a Venezuelan prison released some 1,550 people who had been held hostage for more than a week by gang bosses demanding concessions from the authorities.

The standoff began on September 25, when Uribana’s "pranes," or prison gang bosses, refused to allow inmates' relatives to leave after visiting time.

The civilians, including 1,300 women, were freed Tuesday after prison authorities negotiated a truce with the pranes. The authorities promised to improve prison conditions, as well as better treatment of prison visitors in the future.

Although some of the inmate’s relatives may have voluntarily joined the protest, the majority were reportedly taken hostage on orders from prison gang leaders, who planned to use them as leverage in negotiations with prison officials. Prior to freeing all hostages, some elderly and ailing victims were released. A young woman was reportedly raped in the prison on Saturday night by one or more inmates, and has been hospitalized.

Venezuelan prisons are notoriously overcrowded and violent. More than 44,000 inmates are housed in a system designed to handle fewer than 15,000, and the institutions are often run by powerful gang bosses.

The country’s prison system has been rocked by a string of crises in recent months. In April inmates took prison officials hostage at the Rodeo II prison outside of Caracas, while in June, riots resulted in the deaths of at least 23 inmates in the country.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 5 FEB 2014

As Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres and the Venezuelan Violence Observatory battle it out over the 2013 murder figures, most…

ELN / 9 FEB 2018

The ELN could be participating in the distribution of Venezuelan government food rations in states along the Colombian border, which…

VENEZUELA / 20 MAY 2016

Venezuela kidnappers are now demanding ransom payments in US dollars rather than the local currency, according to a new report,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.