In Sabaneta jail each leader has his own swimming pool
Inmates are watched by 40 wardens in each duty. Inside, as few as eight wardens, attached to the Ministry of Penitentiary Systems, monitor the facilities; the remaining 32 are National Guard officers
The benefits of being the "pran" (the prison leader) in any of the four areas that form part of Maracaibo National Prison, known as Sabaneta, in northwestern Zulia state, are clearly stated. Not only the weaponry or the huge amount of money produced inside are controlled, but also each of them counts on a swimming pool for his parties, in addition to a metal detector to check any "outsiders."
Perhaps the search in their areas is because the X-ray equipment located at the entrance of the jail to check visitors has been broken for more than nine months.
In the swimming pool area, the most important parties take place. They include the "celebration" of any deal made outside the jail.
The police inquests held in Maracaibo, the capital city of western Zulia state, and neighboring areas, found that most of the bribery is schemed inwards. It was proved that some wardens were accomplices. In January-February 2012, the Attorney General Office accused a warden of acting as envoy of the prisoners
The prison splits into four areas: Procemil, which hosts military officers or police agents; Reeducation, including petty criminals; Prison, a standard area with convicts for varied charges, and the Maximum, which holds most dangerous prisoners. The jail was built ending 1958, with a capacity for 900 inmates. Today, it holds 2,400.
Inmates are watched by 40 wardens in each duty. Inside, as few as eight wardens, attached to the Ministry of Penitentiary Systems, monitor the facilities; the remaining 32 are National Guard officers.
Prisoners also pay. They do it for many things; above all, for keeping alive. The "fries" (threatened prisoners) should pay USD 58-69 a week for their security.
In addition, inmates should pay if they are to meet with their relatives or spend a whole weekend with them inside the jail. If so, the "overnight" ought to be paid. The approval by the chief of the area could reach USD 116 a week. Such amount ensures the security of visitors from Friday evening to Monday morning.
Location for a video
There is still fuss in the jail. In middle May, a few minutes were shot of the video "Miedo Cabrón" (Bastard Fear) by the Puerto Rican-Venezuelan band "Los Catedrátikos."
Translated by Conchita Delgado
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."