CARACAS, Monday May 14, 2012 | Update
Prisons | This figure rises if added drug trafficking and extortion

Dirty "business" in La Planta prison yields USD 3.72 million

The National Guard tried to raid into the prison and hurled tear gas (Photo: Fernando Sánchez)
Monday May 14, 2012  11:55 AM

The "chain of command" in El Paraíso Reeducation and Handicraft Labor Center, also known as La Planta jail, southwest Caracas was ruled by five different "governments" in 14 areas.

Each of these leaderships imposed their laws and businesses, and each of them had profits.

Internal struggles among the prison's groups appeared when a "government" wanted to take control of the other government's business. Their goal was to control many more areas and increase their profits. La Planta prison could yield over VEB 16 million a year (USD 3.72 million), according to a report issued by the Ministry of Penitentiary Affairs.

In the case of the prison located in El Paraíso neighborhood, the estimate took into account a weekly payment for stay in the prison; a monthly payment for overnight stay in the prison; a "tax" for sale of drugs; the right to run a cafeteria for sale of basic products (food, cigarettes, soft drinks); special accommodations and a quota for protection, sources of the Ministry explained.

This amount does not include the net output of drugs, sale or lease of weapons, payments for extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, transfer of inmates to other prisons, telephones, gambling and nightclub. La Planta prison could produce up to USD 4.65 million, said the Ministry's source.

Tuna and sardines are simply not there

The can of tuna, formerly a fairly normal pantry staple, has long been missing from stores in Venezuela, especially the domestic brands. When tuna cans, imported or domestic, do occasionally show up on store shelves, prices have increased several fold.

  •  Read 
fotter Estampas
fotter Estampas