Dirty "business" in La Planta prison yields USD 3.72 million
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.
A simple reason: there is oil galore, would suffice to explain Guyana's actions. Another explanation lies in the little or none efforts made by the Venezuelan government to thwart the move by the Guyanese. This is certainly not a new problem, but a problem only recently highlighted because oil is involved. But what other resources does the disputed area hold? For most of us it is a section on the map with black and white stripes on it, a depiction of something distant, alien, a nothingness not worth paying much attention to in geography classes back in elementary school.