Bishops call for eradication of mafias inside Venezuelan prisons
In a statement, the Prison Pastoral Delegation of Venezuelan Bishops' Conference (CEV) reminded Venezuelan authorities that the state is responsible for guaranteeing life, freedom, justice, equity, solidarity, and people's dignity, among other rights set out in the Constitution
The delegation also expressed its condolences to the relatives of the victims.
They also reminded penitentiary authorities that the Venezuelan State's commitment could not be other but to guarantee life, freedom, justice, equity, solidarity, defense and the development of individuals and their dignities, the construction of a fair, peace-loving society, among other noble purposes set forth in the Constitution.
In this regard, for the sake of inmates, they asked authorities "to make every possible effort to eradicate mafias inside prisons. Such mafias are turning prisons into businesses involving arms, drugs, kidnapping, among other crimes leading to horrible situations such as that of Uribana (...) we also invite you (the authorities) to undertake efforts toward positive projects aimed at recognizing the rights of all citizens and institutions. By doing this, it will be possible to overcome the penitentiary crisis lashing our country", the statement read.
Let us start by looking at what appears to be a discrepancy in figures. According to official statistics, the number of Venezuelans contracting HIV/AIDS every year amounts to 11,699; and as per Ministry of Health figures 43,805 people receive free antiretroviral medications. But Jhonatan Rodríguez, the president of ONG StopVIH, claims that these figures date back to March 2012, and that they are quoted as current figures.