Sabaneta Prison remains tense, even after a large number of inmates have been transferred to other prisons.
Yesterday, the major pran of Sabaneta, “El Mocho Edwin”, made an appereance on the prison’s rooftop, asking for dialogue. Hours earlier, a member of the Prisons Ministry was “allowed” in to Sabaneta to negotiate directly with the pran himself. (The government no longer even pretends to control who can and can not enter its own jails.)
He also made a brief statement to a local radio station, when he justified his recent actions.
“What we did was for the greater good… The other guys [probably referring to other pranes] started extorting inmates and messing with us… We just want to work. We don’t like violence… What happened? They brought this on themselves. They started to kidnap people and extort them and we can’t allow that… Now, it’s all quiet here. What we want is peace”.
Even if Edwin has strongly rejected the transfer of inmates, he has no objection to those who want to leave custody altogether. He’s also preparing himself for a possible takeover of the prison by the National Guard.
The case of “El Mocho Edwin” is just straight-up Prannation. The state no longer bothers to conceal its surrender of its prisons to the pranirate.
But these guys usually live fast and die young: of 23 pranes killed in the last seven years, only one was in his forties. Also, most pranes end up killed when there’s a regime change in the prison (known in penitenciary jargon as cambio de carro).
You can know more about the life of a pran and how he rules the prison in this video and accompanying infography from newspaper Últimas Noticias:Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.