Venezuelan Inmates Run Prison More Orderly Than Society Outside


NPR visits a prison in Venezuela that it run by inmates. Wilmer Lopez, serving a 20-year term for murder, is the lider positivo, or positive leader, of one such institution in which “inmates have slowly built their own world.” The inmates have their own security perimeter. The inmates’ security checkpoint had a metal detector, and the machine went off when Lopez stepped through. “The guards live in the same reality we do,” he says. “They want to go home to their families, and be alive tomorrow.” If the situation inside the prison seems insane, Lopez says, it just reflects the world outside. In some ways, the prison is more orderly than what’s outside, where Venezuela is politically divided.

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