The deputy and president of the Permanent Commission of Cult and Penitentiary Regime of the National Assembly (NA), Héctor Cordero, affirmed this Monday that the massacre that occurred last weekend in the Penitentiary Center of Los Llanos (Cepella) in Portuguesa State, demonstrates the “absolute failure of the penitentiary policies in the country.”
He stressed that Venezuelan prisons do not allow the reintegration into society and therefore end up becoming “universities of crime”.
Cordero explained that this type of situation, like the one that occurred three days ago in the capital of the Portuguesa State, ends up hurting those who are deprived of their freedom and do not have privileges. “In the Plains Penitentiary Center, the largest number of deaths are those they call “the spotted,” he said, explaining that these are prisoners who do not respond to the interests of the pranate.
The deputy explained that the riot was due to humanitarian causes, since the prisoners do not have the minimum conditions to serve their respective sentences. “They had problems with food, medicine and the response was to be shot,” he said.
The Minister Iris Varela said that those granted freedom benefits by the Ministry of Penitentiary Affairs are only available to prisoners who are politically aligned with the regime: “Many of these prisoners are used for social control, not all those who went out on the streets should have been there, after having a final (definitive) sentence, only a judge can grant it,” she said.
The political leader and member of the Acción Democrática party, in an interview for Primera Página, indicated that the commission he presides over issued a communiqué addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, which explains in detail the terrible situation in the country’s prisons. He also assured that an investigation will be opened to deny what happened there.
“(Michelle) Bachelet three or four weeks ago issued a request to take some kind of action, especially for political prisoners, to prevent COVID-19 from wreaking havoc in the prisons. We have issued a statement to Bachelet and we will have the possibility that the plenary session will open an investigation to clear out what happened,” Cordero said.