Riot and Protest: Prisons and Crime in Venezuela

The January 26th prison riot at Uribana prison in Venezuela was violent, with at least 61 deaths and 120 wounded. In the wake of this and similar riots, and in the context of President Hugo Chavez’ ailing health, several publications have recently raised questions about Venezuela’s high crime rates and the conditions of its prisons.

Is the situation in Venezuela unique?

Here are several articles. Perhaps our Latin Americanists can offer their insights.

On the Recent Riot:

Jorge Rueda, “Hospital: 61 Killed in Venezuela Prison Riot” Associated Press. January 26, 2013.

“Official: Arsenal Found Inside Venezuelan Prison,” Associated Press. February 7, 2013.

“Venezuelan prison evacuated after deadly riot,” Al-Jazeera News. January 27, 2013.

William Neuman and Girish Gupta, “Dozens Killed in Clashes at a Venezuelan Prison,” The New York Times. January 27, 2013.


On Crime, Violence, and Prison Conditions in Venezuela:

Jon Lee Anderson, Letter from Caracas, “Slumlord,” The New Yorker. January 28, 2013.
On the slums in Caracas, with reference to crime and prisons.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez, “Victims, Victims Everywhere,” Op-Ed, The New York Times. January 31, 2013.
“The riot in a prison in Venezuela reflects a culture of victimhood under Chávez.”

“Crime in Venezuela: Me or your own eyes,” The Economist. July 21, 2012.

Julie Turkewitz, “Why Are Venezuelan Prisoners Sewing Their Mouths Shut?” The Atlantic. February 4, 2013.
An extreme means of protest emerges in brutal conditions.”



About the Author