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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

International Inmates given more TV antennas than TVN-2, while Panamanians get no access to outside

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Building 6 in La Joya prison houses Panama's international inmates. Panama, being known for their loose rules on bribes, has taken full advantage of internationals' wealth and allowed them to have as many electrical appliances as they want - charging $100 per piece plus the cost of the item itself. Due to mass overcrowding the demand for electrical fans to manage the searing heat is huge, and the only access to the outside world via national news is through the illegal purchase of televisions, dispite it being a basic human right.

Money from these purchases goes directly to Ronaldo Lopez, Director of the prison. Video evidence of one of the prison-workers admitting to handing the Director $100 bribes for the prisoners can be seen here. Pictured below is evidence of the extent of the TV antennas installed, dispite there being only one electrical cable running through the building, creating a major fire hazard and putting the lives of inmates at risk.

Building 6 in La Joya prison

Fires in this block are commonplace, the severe lack of fire safety precautions is outstanding. Inmates reported: no fire extinguishers, no warden call system from the block, no sand buckets, no smoke detectors and worst of all, the fire doors at the rear of the building housing 477 inmates were welded shut - leaving just one exit at the front of the building. Video showing some of the fire doors welded shut with metal bars can be seen here.

Conversely, Building 5 (housing native Panamanians) pictured below, visibly has zero antennas. Those in charge know not to bother installing electrical goods in Building 5 because the Panamanians cannot afford to pay bribes to the officials.

Pictured below building 5 in La Joya prison

#Panamá #LaJoyaprisonPanamá

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