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The Prison Wars

Following the Tocorón strategy, the Maduro government has militarily taken over other five prisons. Are pranatos, as we know them, coming to an end?

Conquering the Pranatos

Following the strategy to take over the Tocorón crime-city-bunker-resort, run by the mega-gang Tren de Aragua, the government of Nicolás Maduro has militarily taken over five more prisons in Venezuela in the last few weeks: Tocuyito, La Pica, Puente Ayala, Vista Hermosa and La Cuarta.

According to the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons, before the operations began, only 11% of Venezuela’s inmate population was under state control: the rest were either under “pranatos” (46%)—feudoms controlled by gang leaders—or mixed pranato-state systems (43%). 

According to open-source intelligence specialist Andrei Serbin Pont, in his piece for Caracas Chronicles, the prison takeovers are part of a “shift in the Venezuelan regime’s security strategy” to deal with “criminal insurgencies across the country” and retake the territory under State control. You can read his superb piece here.

The Judicial Persecution Continues

The judicial persecution of the National Commission of Primaries continues after the post-mortem “suspension” of the opposition primaries. On Monday, the president and vice-president of the Commission’s Lara regional board had to appear in the Public Ministry again as they are both being investigated.

Yet, for now, none of the members has been prosecuted.

“The primaries are not voidable. The Court can say whatever it wants, but the factual fact is there, it is irreversible,” María Corina Machado said , “so I don’t think this implies that the [Barbados] agreement has been violated, not yet. The regime is pushing the limits but it has not yet been broken.”

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