Press release of Anarchist Network
Venezuela on the
Slaughter of 60 people in Uribana´s jail in the state of . Lara, Venezuela
Past January 25, a battalion of the National Guard, SEBIN and other organisms of repression in charge of the Commando Regional Nº4’s General and the Minister of Penitentiary Matters, Iris Valera, executed an assault against the Imprisonment Center Uribana in Lara state, that ended with the massacre of, is estimated, 60 people. According with the complaints of the prisoners’ relatives, the numbers are believed to be higher since they point at missing people buried within the penitentiary cells.
The action was justified under the statement “The Government will regain control of the prisons” and by a series of policies that President Chavez and its work cabinet have been introducing. Its objective was to occupy by assault the spaces and wipe out any remains of social articulation on the fringes of the Penitentiary’s Administration assistance. This politic called “Penitentiary Humanization” it’s nothing but a project of disguise of the penitentiary centers of torture and humiliation to try to cover up the grotesque business conceived around the prisoners. For the Bolivarian Government the prisoners are, as well, simple merchandise. Is important to indicate that in their majority, prisons are populated by poor, working-class people, (1) which demonstrates the demagogy and hypocrisy of a State that boats about favoring the poor.
This penitentiary crisis is a direct consequence of the presence of Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) in the custody of the prisons. The GNB, intimidate the relative’s visits and subdue the imprisoned population to the most denigrating conditions of subsistence. The prison’s degrading situation is the ideal background for developing the millionaire business of the GNB, the corrupt bureaucracy and other repression organs of power such as the diverse police bodies. Human Rights Organizations such as PROVEA note that continuous are the strikes, the self-flagellations, the self-kidnapping of visitors, riots and the kidnapping of civil servants, “as an answer to the deplorable conditions of reclusion, the procedural retard and the rejection to the presence of the National Guard.” (2)
We are aware that the moral and physical degradation suffered by the prisoners inside the penitentiary has a direct influence in the situation of violence and insecurity that hits the country. Degradation reflected not only in the high rates of overcrowding present in most prisons, but also, in the lack of basic services, such as drinkable water, healthy food and electricity, not to mention the decadent structures in which they must remain. In summary, under this conditions, and with the unceasing and eminent general process of dehumanization, prisons prepare the deprived of liberty to become criminals at service and at the orders of the main police bodies of the country, path chosen by various prisoners to “survive” the violence inside prisons, becoming in nothing less but pawns at service of the State’s terrorism.
We denounce the campaign of physical and moral annihilation carried by the Ministry of Penitentiary Matters and the Bolivarian National Guard against the imprisoned population and we alert about possible future State plans against other prisons.
We want to express or most sincere proof of solidarity with all the prisoners’ relatives, with the thousands of prisoners that are NOT criminals, with the mothers and women lock up as well as with the LBGT population inside prisons since as we know this last ones are doomed to bear the hazing associated to the patriarchal society that today we suffer.
As well, we pronounce ourselves against the false mould of opinion created by the Media, both from the opposition and government, that states “all the prisoners are criminals” when the awful truth that underlies, according with the Venezuelan’s Prisons Observatory (OVP), is that there are more than 48.000 people deprived of liberty, lots of them waiting for a trial and confined in the worst conditions in a smaller number of structures, as the overcrowding of prisons reaches the alarming number of 175% (OVP)
We make a call to all the antagonistic social movements and the libertarian and autonomous groups to show support with the deprived and their relatives.
Every killing and torture in prison is a State crime. According to the OVP, for 2012 the number of the dead and wounded in prison reached to 591 and 1132 respectively so, silence is mere complicity.
Against the Government’s extermination policy in the penitentiary centers. Against the complicit silence of the politicians of the MUD. Against the reformism of the so called “Penitentiary Humanization”. Because the only thing that can and should be done with prisons is abolish them.
(1) PROVEA’s report (2011) on “Rights of persons deprived of liberty” marks that “68% is located in the IV and V social stratum, belonging to the sectors of relative poverty and critic or extreme poverty”.
(2) PROVEA: 2011 Report on “Rights of persons deprived of liberty”