San Pedro prison

La Paz, Bolivia

Right in the city center of Bolivia’s capital La Paz, there is a wall with a height of 12 meters engulfing one whole block – the San Pedro prison. Locals and tourists can be seen on the plaza in front of the main gate. Kiosks selling mainly alcoholic beverages are crimped at the wall. The gate is heavily guarded by policemen.

Inside approximately 1.300 prisoners live together with their families including 300 children in seven blocks that surround a church in the center of the huge compound. There are restaurants, shops, billard bars, a barber, a photostudio, a football pitch and even a swimming pool inside. During the day family members of the inmates are allowed to leave to go to work or school. At night they return to their home behind walls.

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