Carolina Girón, director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons (OVP, an ONG), warned that at least 70% of inmates present severe malnutrition.
The Commission of Worship and Penitentiary Regime of the National Assembly held a special session where they summoned the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons (OVP) to review and debate based on the critical reality of prisons that exists today in the country.
The deputy and president of the aforementioned legislative commission, Williams Dávila Barrios, stated that this meeting is part of a series of meetings that will feed the reports that will be presented to different international organizations in order to denounce the Human Rights violations of which the inmates are victims.
Carolina Girón, Director of the organization Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons, warned that the main problem in Venezuelan prisons is overcrowding, and she reported that the overcrowding index surpassed 171%. According to Ms. Giron, in the report for the year 2,020 they registered that there were more than 37,543 prisoners when the installed capacity does not exceed 22,000 places.
The human rights activist added that Maduro’s administration continues to try to mask the number of inmates in prisons, but that the big reality is that they do not meet the minimum standards recommended by the UN.
After making an account of the closed or inoperative detention centers, Girón stressed that there is another big problem afflicting this population: malnutrition. She pointed out that 70% of the inmates present severe malnutrition. In this regard, she stated that they have called Maduro’s Penitentiary Minister to account without any response.
She also raised the issue of tuberculosis in detention centers, making direct mention of 184 prisoners who have died in prison from various diseases.
Against this background, Dávila Barrios, President of the commission; Deyalitza Aray, Vice President; and other deputies of the aforementioned Permanent Commission, reiterated that they will continue to make this situation visible to the world so that human rights violations by Maduro’s regime against this vulnerable population, today at serious risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will not go unpunished.