We did see one functioning workshop at which seven prisoners did carpentry. At Tocorón, we were told that the only prisoners officially employed were those who handled the facility’s cooking and cleaning, although some prisoners worked independently using materials supplied by their families. Prisoners are generally transferred to the Máxima as a sanction for disciplinary violations.
It has also been demonstrated that those who form new invasion settlements or barrios have been living in the city for some years, where they have already obtained a certain kind of stable employment or income. People who live in a barrio have decided to do so once they have considered that there are some job opportunities in that city. Residential areas of ranchos actually show a high percentage of salaried workers (56.3%) and a low level of the famous “independent worker” typical of most Latin American postcards (13.6%). A second dwelling of better quality and made of more permanent materials is progressively built, as long as the settlement offers a certain security of non-eviction, and resources are available. The step from the first structure to the second and more durable house can be fast for some users, but can take some years for others.
It has a total area of 916,445 km2 and a land area of 882,050 km2 , making Venezuela the 33rd largest country in the world. The territory it controls lies between latitudes 0° and 16°N and longitudes 59° and 74°W. In June 2020, a report by the US organisation Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights documented enforced disappearances in Venezuela that occurred in the years 2018 and 2019. During the period, 724 enforced disappearances of political detainees were reported. The report stated that Venezuelan security forces subjected victims, who had been disappeared, to illegal interrogation processes accompanied by torture and cruel or inhuman treatment. The report stated that the Venezuelan government strategically used enforced disappearances to silence political opponents and other critical voices it deemed a threat.
It should also consider expanding the use of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent prisoners. Expressing increased concern over the prison situation in recent years, the government has tried new strategies such as posting the National Guard within the prisons and delegating administrative power over the prisons to state governments. But such measures have neither substantially reduced prison violence nor relieved their other serious problems. Notably, however, as part of a declared effort to “humanize” the prison system, the Ministry of Justice did succeed in closing Catia prison in Caracas, this past January, replacing it with two modern prison annexes.
With the economic situation getting worse and worse, violent crime has branched out beyond the big cities to more tourist-driven places including Puerto Ordaz, Merida, and Margarita. Still, most of the natural areas are quite safe (although this is not always the disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters the case; potential murderers and kidnappers target their unfortunate victims as lucrative prey). The outskirts of many cities are very poor and crime-ridden, and are not appropriate for tourists; the same applies for big cities that are in economic turmoil.