In Bolivia’s Largest Prison, Inmates Make The Rule And There Are No Guards


El Penal De San Pedro aka San Pedro Prison is the largest prison in Bolivia. It is known for being a society in itself. Unlike other prisons or facilities, inmates at San Pedro have jobs inside their community. They can buy or rent accommodation and often stay with their families. The jail is run by criminals imprisoned in it and there is no guard inside the jail. Currently, the prison houses about 3,000 inmates. At San Pedro, there is a council of prisoners, who make the rules and decide upon the punishment.

As per a report, in a few cases, the family of San Pedro inmates prefer to stay inside the jail, as it is rumoured that the spouses and children are safer inside the jail than outside. Reportedly, rapists and child molesters are treated with a zero-tolerance policy inside the prison and the most common punishment for them is flogging. A writer named Rusty Young once bribed his way into the San Pedro Prison and stayed there for 4 months, before publishing his book titled Marching Powder, which is based on the story of Thomas McFadden and was a drug smuggler. The book also exposed the reality of drug trafficking inside the jail.

Rusty Young mentioned in his book that when a sex offender arrives at the prison, a mob gathers to receive and escort the criminal through the corridors. Reportedly, the culprit may be given an electric shock, stabbed or beaten to death as well. The jail also has a swimming pool, which has been used for various executions. Surprisingly, a prisoner band plays music for the dying culprit.

Source: News 18