HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Prison Opens Nightclub in Violence Reduction Strategy
BRIEF

Venezuela Prison Opens Nightclub in Violence Reduction Strategy

NARCOCULTURE / 1 APR 2013 BY MICHAEL TATONE EN

A Venezuelan prison marked the opening of a nightclub for inmates with an inauguration party complete with strippers and DJs, as part of an unconventional scheme to reduce prison violence.

Prisoners at the San Antonio prison on the Venezuelan island of Margarita used smart phones to coordinate the event, as well as to invite family members and friends through social networks, reported El Universal.

The new nightclub, called "El Yate Club" (the Yacht Club), has a capacity of 600 people, air conditioning and professional sound equipment, boasted the invitation sent by prisoners.

Prison Minister Iris Varela defended the recreational activities, saying they help to reduce prison violence.

InSight Crime Analysis

San Antonio prison is reportedly run by a drug trafficker called Teofilo Rodriguez, alias "El Conejo" and has already earned a reputation for its surreal atmosphere of heavily armed hedonism, with facilities including a palm-fringed swimming pool and a cock-fighting arena.

It is common for Venezuela prisons to be run by gang leaders like Rodriguez, known as "pranes," who manage the prisons' black market economies -- particularly drug distribution -- which are worth millions of dollars a year.

The position of prison minister was established in 2011 to address overcrowding and to reduce violence. Varela promised to establish sports and cultural programs for inmates, among other measures.

However, Venezuela still has one of the most violent prison systems in the region. Since Varela's appointment, over 500 inmates have died and up to 2,000 have been wounded.

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.

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

PRISONS / 17 MAY 2012

In one of Venezuela's most violent and overcrowded prisons, the underground economy reportedly brings in some $3.7 million a year,…

HOMICIDES / 1 MAR 2013

Venezuela has extended a nationwide ban on the commercial sale of firearms for another year, even though the policy has…

ECUADOR / 5 JUL 2013

Authorities in Ecuador and Venezuela are investigating companies suspected of using the countries' shared virtual currency to launder money, highlighting…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…