CARACAS -- Extra troops from the National Guard and Police are taking positions and maneuvering tactical vehicles outside the “El Helicoide” prison for political cases in Western Caracas Wednesday, as a riot is reportedly taking place inside.
The renewed political violence comes only four days before an illegitimate May 20th Presidential elections, which the local opposition and several countries have denounced as rigged. Embattled head of state Nicolas Maduro, running for a second six-year period, is expected to win, having the banned the Opposition party and candidates and running against hand-picked candidates, amidst repression, vast censorship and widespread vote-buying, with the government conditioning sales of subsidized food and the adjudication of several bonuses to pro-Maduro votes on Sunday.
The prison is also home to a large contingent of SEBIN agents as well as 54 political prisoners. However, the number of political prisoners there and in other prisons, such as “Las Tumbas” near Plaza Venezuela is obviously and visibly demanding extra security.
“El Helicoide” inmate Daniel Ceballos, a man who was taken as a political prisoner by Maduro in spite of being the elected mayor of the city of San Cristobal, posted a video to social media demanding the presence of government authorities, and denouncing a series of irregularities allegedly taking place inside the prison, including the murder of political prisoners.
Local and social media, as well as one witness interviewed by LAHT, report tear gas and buckshot being deployed inside “El Helicoide”. At least one political prisoner, Gregory Sanabria who was apprehended during the 2014 cycle of protests, has been beat up by security.