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  • Panama Human Rights

International Prisoners forced to construct make-shift beds using discarded timber and rice sacks!

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Shown below: Beds precariously perched on top of cells below, overlooking the gymnasium area. In the evenings, this area was turned into a sleeping area to accommodate 100 inmates. These were the less fortunate ones who did not have enough money to buy a bed—cell bunks cost $300 - $1,000.

The picture above was taken from Ambassador Arthur Porter’s living quarters, located in the attic space of Building 6. This area holds more than 300 plus people; it has no lights or toilets. The floor is suspended over the cells below; the ropes seen are makeshift hammocks suspended from the roof joists. Many people have fallen from this height into the cells below. The La Joya medical reports show multiple injuries to inmates were caused by falls.

Two months prior to Mark’s death an inmate fell from this height (pictured-below) to the floor below, then ended up in intensive care at Santo Tomas hospital for eight weeks with serious head injuries. The tin/zinc roof shown is un-insulated, making Building 6 unbearably hot and extremely hard to live in, especially with the searing Panama heat, causing many to have anxiety issues. Mark had many issues with stress; overcrowding, extreme heat, and lack of water made him vulnerable and led to his lack of good judgement.

Left - Ladder entering the attic space where 300 inmates lived

Middle - Looking down into the cells from the attic space

Right - Narrow ladder that violates fire marshall’s regulations

International Prisoners forced to construct make-shift beds using discarded timber and rice sacks

Building 6 has a daily log book that has to be completed by the daily duty officer, looking at this book will show the unnecessary amounts of accidents building 6 had on a regular basis due to lack of safety and negligence, this book will expose the officers name who opened the door the morning of Mark’s death, this officer is the person charged with the care of Mark Bodden and should have come to Marks aide on the evening of his fall rather than 12 hours later, if building 6 had breached the front door the on-duty officer would be obliged to attended building 6, as it was under his watch. The La Joya Penitentiary post one police officer per building, this officer works one week on and one week off, the responsibility of that building was down to that one officer for the whole building, there was not a multiple of police officers looking after building six.

The commando's daily log book is extremely important, it is very detailed, breaking the days events into minutes, the events of Marks death would be registered in this log book. Each building in La Joya has its own separate logbook that is handed over to the next commando when their weeks shift has ended.

#Torture #PanamáGovernment #LaJoyaprisonPanamá #PresidentVarela #Panamá #Corruption #NicholasTuffney

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