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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

British cellmates tell of 12 hour wait for medical attention, despite the British Embassy.....

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

knowing of Mark’s serious sleeping accommodation. Panama human rights videoed this meeting with Mark Bodden with the British consul at the La Joya prison where Mark was demanding the embassy sort his sleeping accommodation out, five months after this meeting Mark died falling 9 feet to his death from his bed.

Cellmates of Mark Bodden have told of the squalid conditions and non-existent medical care in the notorious Panamá prison where the Caymanian died on 18 August 2014. The 37-year-old, according to the witness accounts, was injured in a fall from a makeshift bed in the seriously overcrowded Cell Block 6 of La Joya prison, where 477 foreign nationals are crammed into tiny, rat-infested cells with limited access to clean water or exercise.

Mark’s bed (above) was suspended from this ceiling using makeshift ropes. On the bunk on the left is Mr. Ben Perschky; his bunk is also suspended above another bunk below. Mark’s makeshift bed was nine feet in the air. The top of the floor fan pictured gives an idea of the height of Mark’s bed in proportion to the room size.

Mark Bodden and Ben Perschky Requesting The UK Embassy Visit To Their Living Quarters

Three of Mr. Bodden’s fellow prisoners, including Dr. Arthur Porter, have been in contact with the Cayman Compass to give their version of events surrounding the death.

The Caymanian prisoner was left without access to proper medical attention for nearly 12 hours after sustaining serious head injuries when he fell nine feet from his “home-made bed space,” according to an unofficial two-page medical report produced by Dr. Arthur Porter.

“I am of the opinion that if Mr. Bodden had received a prompt transfer to a hospital with neurological competence, he would have had a substantial chance of making a complete recovery,” wrote Dr. Porter.

His report was emailed to the Compass through fellow prisoner Leo Morgan, a British national, who has been representing foreign inmates in talks with prison officials and embassy diplomats in an effort to improve conditions.

“Mark was not a bad kid. He made a mistake, did something to make some money and he ended up here.

“What happened was an accident, but he didn’t have to die. It could have been prevented if he had got medical care and a proper bed. He died because of neglect,” Mr. Morgan told the Compass in a call from the prison’s public phones.

The 57-year-old former boxer and nightclub bouncer said he had seen 60 people die during his 10 years in the Panamá prison system from accidents, stabbings, fights, and disease.

“There’s no medical center, there’s not even any water. We have to buy everything we have,” said Mr. Morgan, who competes in boxing bouts with fellow inmates for cash.

“Mark had good people looking out for him in Cayman. His grandmother sent him money and the church were helping him out. You have to buy everything, you have to buy your bed, and you have to buy toilet paper.” He said the cell block is a 180-bed facility that houses 506 foreign prisoners – a mix of Colombians, Africans, Jamaicans, Guatemalans and three British citizens.

Mr. Perschky, speaking to the Compass via instant-messaging service Whatsapp, told how inmates had banged on the cell-block doors and made frantic calls to the British embassy to raise the alarm as Mr. Bodden slipped in and out of consciousness throughout the night.


Mr Tuffney had no way to correct the time, or date on his video's, below is Mr Tuffney giving a true verbal time line to show all these video's did take place whilst he was incarcerated.

#BritishEmbassy #Panamá #LaJoyaprisonPanamá #AmbassadorArthurPorter #PresidentVarela #PanamáGovernment #PrisonersAbroad

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