San Pedro Prison
- Nicolás Acosta San Pedro
Lonely Planet review for San Pedro Prison
San Pedro's fame is that it functions unlike any other prison: there are no guards inside, the inmates don't wear uniforms, there are no curfews and the prisoners have to work to be able to pay for their cells, which they have to rent or buy depending on their financial situation. This infamous prison is now quite a hard place to visit.
Inside, it's like a little town. The prison is divided into eight areas. There is a clear hierarchy between the different areas, and some are richer, brighter and (supposedly) safer, while others are dark, dingy and rough. During the day, the violence is contained and prisoners play cards, football and do their work, but life gets rough at night when misunderstandings are ironed out, robberies take place and prisoners fight with knives.
Since there are no guards, problems are solved by the prisoners, who elect their leaders and have unions. Posters of Evo Morales adorn the walls: he's a loved man here, a representative of the underdogs and the poor, Bolivia's marginalized indigenous people.