Tocuyito, Venezuela, Oct. 26 (EFE). – More than 100 women demanded on Thursday to know the whereabouts of their imprisoned relatives in the Venezuelan prison of Tocuyito, in the state of Carabobo (North). Their relatives were transferred after a government intervention on Wednesday.
“Where is my husband?” shouted some of the women, who were divided into two groups to cover different entrances to the prison.
According to the government, Tocuyito is the largest and most populated prison in the country, with more than 2,000 prisoners who have been transferred.
The relatives of the prisoners, some with children in their arms, demanded to speak with the Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Remigio Ceballos, who was present at the scene.
They also requested to see the lists with the names of the inmates and the prisons to which they were sent after the operation in which more than 8,000 security agents participated.
Dulce Querales, 29, does not know where her brother was sent, and the officials she asked about his whereabouts “don’t want to give any information,” she told EFE.
“All of us women who are here do not know anything about our relatives (…) because the people who are inside do not want to give us any information,” Dulce said.
“They keep us here, waiting, without giving us any answers. We need them to come out and give us the list so we know where each of our relatives went, because since yesterday we don’t know anything,” she added.
Querales, supported by the women around her, is asking the authorities to “put themselves in their shoes” and to “make the list public.”
According to Ceballos, the Tocuyito inmates have been “transferred” to other centers, “some temporarily,” while “their processes are being reviewed” so that the courts can evaluate whether their sentences should be redefined.
The Minister of Penitentiary, Celsa Bautista, assured via X (formerly Twitter) that the state department “is working to respond to the families of those deprived of their liberty.”
Prison security operation
The Venezuelan government carried out a “prison security operation” in the Tocuyito prison on Wednesday.
At least 1,658 weapons – 158 firearms and more than 1,500 white weapons – were found.
During an evaluation of the intervention in Tocuyito, the minister pointed out that the more than 8,000 officers who participated in the operation also found “more than 12,000 cartridges and narcotic and psychotropic substances.”
In addition, during the operation, “all criminal structures” operating in Tocuyito were dismantled, according to the government.
Officials also said that “there was a devastating slavery mechanism” from which “actions were directed that affected the entire national territory” and whose leaders “were captured.
Ceballos pointed out that officials who allegedly “committed irregularities” will be investigated.
The operation in Tocuyito comes one month after an operation in the Tocorón prison, where the transnational criminal organization known as “Tren de Aragua” originated.
The international criminal gang “Tren de Aragua” is an organization that emerged in Venezuela in 2014 and has expanded to other countries such as Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. EFE