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  • Writer's picturePanama Human Rights

Scabies is rife in La Joya. The Panamian government feels these conditions are totally acceptable.

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

In fore-filling its human rights obligations laid down by the United Nations!

Building Six housed 477 inmates, visiting the clinic was a lottery, Merced clinic would only accept 10-15 inmates every two weeks, this being the case that spaces were sold to the highest bidder rather than who really did need medical attention. Many like this inmate who had no financial assistance from family or friends were left to fend for themselves, some with devastating consequences, including death.

Most of the deaths in La Joya were registered as death by natural causes and not by the failing of the state who should have provided proper medical care. Panama failed to uphold its obligations under the UN treaty and should be held accountable for many deaths under their watch. Many families’ lost their dad or husbands and still to this day they will never know the full truth as to what was the true cause of death.

US Government confirms 17 inmates died from natural causes in Panama’s prison in 2018!

Prison medical care overall was inadequate due to the lack of personnel, transportation and medical resources. Sixty per cent of complaints received by the Ombudsman's office from January through August were related to the lack of access through medical attention and medication. Authorities permitted relatives of inmates to bring medicine, although there were reports that some relatives paid bribes to prison personnel, including police guards, to bypass the required clearances. Authorities transferred patients with serious illnesses to public clinics, but there were constant difficulties arranging inmate transportation. Inmates often missed medical appointments with specialized physicians. Because the DGSP did not have ambulances, inmates were transported in police vehicles or in emergency service ambulances when available. Lack of prison guards often affected the transfers.

As of August, 17 inmates had died in custody, mostly from natural causes or disease. One inmate died due to inmate-on-inmate violence.

Administration: Authorities conducted proper investigations of credible allegations of mistreatment.

Independent Monitoring: The government permitted prison monitoring by independent non-governmental observers.

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