To my chronic frustration, we never get a proper chance to look inside Venezuelan prison walls. That’s why Ross Kemp’s Extreme World documentary on crime in Venezuela deserves such high praise.
I’m not able to embed it, but you can watch it here. (The best bit starts just after the 13:35 mark.)
Not that it’s a perfect film, by any means. Kemp clearly doesn’t know much about Venezuela, and makes a number of painful mistakes throughout the film. For one thing, he can’t seem to decide if the country is ruled by Chávez or by Shavéz. On more substantive grounds, it’s appalling – journalistically inexcusable, really – that he didn’t speak to a single opposition voice, and his willingness to seriously countenance the loony conspiracy theory about the U.S. government secretly seeding drug gangs into the barrios to undermine Chávez does not speak well for the guy’s geostrategic acuity.
None of that matters. Ross Kemp got an on-the-spot report from inside a Venezuelan jail, even managing an in-depth interview with the (sadly, not at all eloquent) pran.
Granted, the Penitenciaria General de Venezuela in San Juan de los Morros may not be Tocorón, or Uribana. Still, it’s a powerful segment. Kemp got in there and really showed it. And that right there makes up for all of the serious short-comings in his film.
Watch it. Definitely.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.