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

COLECTIVOS / 28 OCT 2016

Venezuela's vice president has threatened to repress opposition protests with colectivos -- pro-government armed groups that are becoming increasingly criminalized…

PRISONS / 19 JUN 2017

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro announced the replacement of Prison Minister Iris Varela, but her policies that allowed criminal networks to…

COLECTIVOS / 6 FEB 2019

A new pro-government Venezuelan militia or “colectivo" allegedly trained by Colombian rebels may have posted itself alongside security forces on…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…