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Venezuela Insists on Dialogue with Prisoners who Resist Authorities

Venezuelan Minister for Interior and Justice
The Minister of People’s Power for Interior and Justice, Tarek El Aissami, said Monday that the Venezuela Government insists on maintaining a dialogue with a small group of gangsters who continue to violently resist authorities in the Rodeo II prison.

“The call for dialogue continues, the call for dialogue has not ceased,” said El Aissami.

This prison, as well as the Rodeo I, located in the state of Miranda, was taken over by authorities on June 17 after a terrible confrontation between rival gangs that began on June 12.

Officials from the Ministry of Interior and Justice, along with specialists and prosecutors from the Public Ministry and health agencies, have participated in the intervention.

“We reject the information that was published in some private media, claiming that there have been 37 to 40 deaths. This has caused chaos amongst families. The government has been dismantling that view by affirming that in the intervention of the prison only one inmate died, along with two Bolivarian National Guardsmen, “said El Aissami.

The authorities regained control of the Rodeo I on Friday. By Sunday, 2,500 inmates in this facility had been transferred to four prisons in the country: Yare II in Miranda, Ayala Bridge in Anzoategui, Tocoron in Aragua, and an annex of Uribana prison in Lara. According to El Aissami, the moves are temporary, for reasons of safety and only while the prison facilities are repaired. The estimated time for this work is two weeks.

“The families of the detainees are in the prisons, verifying that there has not been any abuse or denial of rights. They are checking who was evacuated temporarily because we want the families to verify that information,” he said.

On the situation in El Rodeo II, El Aissami said that he will specify more about the state of the inmates when the authorities manage to enter the site.

“The first information of what happens in El Rodeo II was provided by the seven inmates who escaped from La Torre, who told us that a group was attacked by criminal leaders, while protesting to get out and submitted to the National Guard,” he said.

Venezuelan authorities were able to establish a dialogue with the families of prisoners who agreed to participate in the negotiation process to restore peace in the Rodeo II.

El Aissami deplored the mafias trying to establish internal governments to prevent the benefits of prisoners. “We’ve worked to transform the reality of prison subculture towards a humanized model,” he said.

AVN / Press Office -Venezuelan Embassy to USA / June 20, 2011

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