In our September 14 Facebook Live session, Co-director Jeremy McDermott and Senior Investigator Deborah Bonello spoke about InSight Crime's special investigation of Venezuela's prison system, the final part of a broader project looking at Latin America's prison dilemma.
In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it pushed President Hugo Chávez into a different and disastrous approach to the prison system.
The high and growing rate of imprisonment in the region is not leading to lower rates of violence and crime. In other words, we know that prisons are not the solution. But if this is the default policy, then we should at least do it in the most humane way possible.
Brazil authorities have reportedly dismantled an international drug trafficking network that purchased tons of drugs from a Brazilian crime boss jailed in Paraguay, in the latest illustration of how this powerful figure fuels crime and violence within and beyond prison walls.