Venezuelan prison riots and collateral damage

Venezuela Star

At least 50 prisoners are dead and over 90 are injured after a riot at Uribana prison in Venezuela. It seems rival gangs within the prison are engaged in a turf war. Obviously when the desired “turf” is delineated by big, thick walls, razor wire  and armed guards, there isn’t much room for sharing – not that gangs are notorious for playing nicely. The situation is a bit like the  scorpions in a bottle concept with one exception; the scorpions don’t have guards getting caught-up in the middle.

Some will suggest they should just let the gangs kill each other thereby solving the whole problem. While I have no doubt the prison guards at Uribana have taken cover, nor do I blame them, they are still placed in a situation beyond that of the day-to-day guarding of prisoners. If you are going to incarcerate people it is best done humanely; if not for the prisoners sake, then for the collateral damage caused to guards and others.

I don’t think pizza would have helped in the situation in Venezuela, but Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews may want to consider what can happen when things go wrong. The pizza party fundraisers were a win-win situation that has been stopped. Is this the first step on a slippery slope?


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