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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

La Joya, one of the most notorious and dangerous prisons in the world, which puts up for sale:

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

The Family Visitors List, Including Children, a serious violation of public trust, many families were unknowingly targeted...

Click here and here for PDF's of visitors lists.

Convicted homicide inmate reads the (Visitors list) while sitting at the police officers desk: Contract Killings

Pictured below one of the many corrupt Panamanian National Police selling sensitive information for $20 of visiting family members putting many civilian lives at risk with no consideration for others.

Below is an eye view of where contract killers are positioned on days when prisoners are allowed family visits that include children, shown is the open area of the La Joya facility where loved ones meet, at their own peril! Yellow T-shirts denotes inmates, Red- T-shirts visiting family.

Pictured below the exact location of cell block 4 which overlooks the visitation area.

This is a true reality check folk’s, when sensitive documents end up in the wrong hands it can have devastating consequences, especially in La Joya Prison


200 guns taken in police raids (Requisa) at La Joya prison

Some two hundred (200) firearms of different calibres have been confiscated in 14 months in the different pavilions that make up the three main prisons in the country, informed the director of the Penitentiary System, Ángel Calderón.

The official said that the weapons include pistols and revolvers, which have been located inside the cells of the La Joya and La Joyita Penitentiary Complex.

Recent Disappearances in the Republic of Panamá

List of suspicious disappearances in Panamá 2017 – 2016- 2018

British investors gunned down in an assassination attempt in Panama City.

How the Kidnappers and Murderers Got Caught in La Chorrera Panama

The horror story about five young adults who were kidnapped and killed in La Chorrera continued yesterday when the Auxiliary Prosecutor of the Republic recovered all of the bodies buried inside the residence where the Dominican Alcibiades Méndez had rented, in the neighbourhood of El Campesino. The bodies are presumed to belong to the Panamanians of Asian descent; 18-year-old Yessenia Lou Kam, 27-year-old Young Wu Ken, 19-year-old Sammy Zeng Chen, 19-year-old Joel Liu Wung, and 18-year-old Georgina Lee Chen. All of their corpses were taken to the Judicial Morgue, where relatives came to identify them. Yessenia was kidnapped on 24 October 2010 while she was on her way to the regional campus of the UTP. This also happened with Ken in December of that year. On 7 September 2011 Sammy, Joel and Georgina were kidnapped as they went to the USMA. All were children of Chinese merchants of La Chorrera.

THE FACT THAT BETRAYED - After the last kidnapping, the parents came into contact with the kidnappers, who asked them for $2 million dollars. On Sunday, 11 September 2011, they began the process to deliver the money to a sector of El Espino, in La Chorrera. As a kind of guide, the kidnappers placed red bags at different points along the route to guide the family members to the point where they were supposed to deliver the money. However, upon reaching this lonely road they gave up because it looked too dangerous. After that incident, there was a new negotiation on Tuesday of this week, and they gave the kidnappers $160,000 dollars in Arraiján. After this and to save time, the relatives of the victims began to ask among the business owners of the community, to find out who had purchased so many red plastic bags. A security video of a convenience store showed the Dominican Alcibiades making the purchase. They immediately notified the police, and after a surveillance operation, they arrested him, and he told them the bodies were buried. The first two victims, Yessenia and Ken, were under the tiles of the floor of the living room, in a skeletal status due to the lime that was used to accelerate decomposition. The latter three were buried in a pit made in one of the bedrooms.

He Was Only Going For Sam - The Dominican, who the prosecutor has charged with kidnapping and murder, said he was only going to kidnap Sam, but because she picked up Joel and Georgina, he kidnapped all three. This man nicknamed "José Cell", arrived in Panama in 2003 and has been in an illegal status since 2009, after failing to file for becoming a citizen. He had Panamanian children.

Yesterday, the relatives of the five young people went to the morgue to identify the bodies, which was more difficult in cases of Yessenia and Ken, because they were just skeletons. In both cases, DNA samples were taken which should be ready in two weeks. Balbino Rivas, a lawyer for the family of Ken, said the conditions and time of the body allow for the presumption that it's him. He added the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $400,000 for his return and a portion was paid.

On the progress of the investigation, the Auxiliary Prosecutor reported they are looking for a second person who is involved, also a Dominican. This is Angel Bethancourt, who left the country early yesterday morning, which is why an international arrest warrant has already been issued through Interpol.

They Can't Believe It - In La Chorrera, where the Chinese community has a large presence and interaction with the community, no one is talking about anything but the grim fact that took the lives of these young people. Even President Ricardo Martinelli said he hoped that due to the changes made to the Criminal Code, those responsible for this appalling fact will pay with at least 50 years in prison. (Mi Diario)

Contract Killings

La Joya going rates for contract killings start from as little as $500 up to $2,500 for a family. The money for these contracts start by laundering in Western Union via prison guards or police commando, on occasion attornies are used. Building 6 would receive approximately $95,000.00 + using this method and would enable inmates to fund their: cocaine addiction, gambling or for other illicit programmes like contract killings, below are the ABC rules of how to money laundering in Panama using the Police and Prison guards.

First and foremost you need an outside agent who will collect Western Unions, you then require a mule to launder in the cash, once all these pieces have been achieved the agent will skim 10% in commission prior to the money entering the facility.

Below are real names and Western Unions that took place in building 6 on a daily basis.

Outside Contact: (Mrs Natalia Andrea Luna Londoñ) Inside Contact: Husband (Mr Jairo Guarin Londoño) Inmate. Both husband and wife were friends with, Ronaldo Lopez Perez, National ID: 9-141-569) Director.

Mr Londoño’s job inside the La Joya facility was assisting the Director, he was duly issued with a pass by Lopez that was attached to a neck lanyard giving Jairo access to all buildings.

Western Union is still up and running to this day, January 2018 Western Union was sent to the new Grand La Joya, it was duly received by the inmate from a prison guard within 24 hours.


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