The night of September 6th witnessed a violent regime change inside Santa Ana Prison (in Tachira State): A shootout between rival factions ended with the deaths of the major prison pran, who went by the unlikely a.k.a. of “El Camomila” and his deputy “El Paisa”.
According to sources, the new pran of Santa Ana is known as El Goma. In the last month alone, three convicts have escaped the prison, two of them while receiving treatment in medical centers.
2012 has been a tough year in Santa Ana: in the first days of January five inmates were killed. In July three National Guard soldiers were kidnapped while in August visitors and guards were taken hostage by people transferred from other prisons around the country. Both cases ended with their peaceful release.
Things aren’t better in the female section of the prison: the director and her husband were killed in an apparent hit job in early July while a big riot inside the premises took place just days afterwards.
Life inside Venezuelan prisons today is a living hell where the internal control of the pranes is not set in stone. In an instant, everything can change though, and at the same time, it’s still business as usual directly afterward.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.