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.
At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.