*WEEK 20*

Monday, 17th of May 2010.

Doors remained locked after breakfast was served, wondering what will happen next. There were no catcalls as the weekend came and went without any incident and the centre was blissful as there were loads of dopes, Pots and Moonshine for everyone who cared to indulge. I guess many were sleeping thinking things are normal, no catcalls and noise from any cell.

Then around 9ish, all the Wardens and couple of cops came in with cuffs, matched to specific cells on order, we had our phones hidden as no one knows what will happen next. We saw most of the guys walking out with their little and accumulated possessions, Cara Pony (our computer wiz kid who was making fake conjugal documents and other permits forging the Director´s signature), our Smallish Italian God Father, a Colombian who had bought his way through the hierachy of the Panama system, Flaco (who is also call “Anyway”; his Artist name). In total 5 inmates were taken from Galeria and 10 from Anexo. All to be sent to the maximum jail, there they will continue with their time. The ones from Anexo comprises of 2 Spaniards (one who tried escaping on broad daylight by jumping over the fence, but got his ankle broken and another one who is a dope head and Panamanians.

The Director has shown it again, that he may forgives, but doesn´t forget, and that he is ready to rid this place of any bad eggs, and most importantly he doesn´t want anybody to jeopardise his job and source of income.

Our Italian God father, whom Manni knew him right from transitory jail, used to be very quiet and humble, the hops around with clutches, but since he got much better on getting here, carved out a niche for himself among the boys. He brags a lot and he was actually on the run from the Italian judiciary system as he is wanted for another crime over there. I guess since his sentence, he has been bragging of escaping, not knowing that the Director has ears everywhere, they snitched on him and there goes the weasel. The Director Wouldn´t wait for the escape, so had him move. The Colombian, who is quiet and talk less, always seen with blackberry and the custodios are always seen in his cell, guess for money he spends on them. Had also gotten permission from the director to build a nice tent outside, also built a nice barbeque grill beside his tent, he paid quite a lot to get here as he was in confinement back in La Joyita, but here he found where he could flex his muscle and money. Guess the director didn´t want to wait and see what next he will do as the guy who escapes last from here was a big spender. Who bought his way through by spending, even bought air conditioner for some of the offices and always arranges for lunch to be brought to the staffs. When he finally got a job by the green area, he made his go and that was it. So they feel the Colombian may likely do same, better we get rid of him now before we start sending search teams all over Panama to look for him when he finally escape.

I guess the Bossman is scare that Tony our Colombian guy may end up like that, so he had him sent away. Well, I still have my list of people I will want him to send away, I guess with time they will fall in place.

When the doors were finally opened, went to the library, had to read as both PC´s were occupied with Gamers and a guy who believes he knows God was writing his life story, but always walks around with knife in his pants. I wonder what God will think of him or what he thinks God will do as He knows he walks around with his Bible in his hand and a knife in his pants. Good luck to him and good for him.

Tried to do some reading, but the noise from the Music studio was just too much as I couldn´t concentrate, I wondered who designed this place, placing a music studio next to the library. And the dump head workers in the library also post a NO NOISE sticker in the library when we have noise blasting from the studio at a deafening rate.

No food tonight, but glad as we had a good rice from AliPrac, if all the rice were prepared this way, I wouldn´t mind eating them. Made it up with coconut powder and it was nice as we all dinned and had my green tea, thanks to Jessie.

Spoke with Schat as she had been calling, but since my phone was switched off all day as I was in the library, she was dead worried. Nice to hear her voice and knowing that she and the kids are doing well.

Stayed up all night reading and hoping for the better……….

Tuesday, 18th of May…………

Up several times to wee as I drank loads of water and tea last night. Billy finally dropped my BF on the table, gotta approached him on this, as the table ain´t mijne once we are sleeping, roaches scrambled on any crumps of whatever is left on the table. I hope I don´t get sick. If I had my brown bread, guess wouldn´t be eating this prison bread. Most of us who are health concious may not like the prison bread, but the boys who make moonshine will gladly have them, most to keep and ferment it, since yeast of one of the ingredients in the bread, fermenting it along with sugar, these dudes comes up with some potent shyte that will knock some french wines off the shelves of some supermarket.

Showered and had my BF, then went to the library, my Christian buddy is busy with his book. And the gamers on the other PC, did some reading and brainstorming. When I came out, met Tito who told me he is making soup, ordered two, one for me and the other for Jer; lately Jer hadn´t been going to school, guess nothing to cook and sell, so he is being sleeping all day and moreover since he has been told he will be going home this Month. He´s been counting the days, and several calls to the Brits Consulate has yielded anything positive as to when he will leave. I hope that the change in Government in UK does not affect his going back home.

Being here for too long and not getting his brain actively working has really made him laid back, always smoking pot with his buddies from Pabellon, our cell is well known as the coffee shop in this centre. Manni and I planned to put a stop to that once he is gone.

Got my soup, but didn´t drink it since Manni needed me as an extra in his film, went out and stayed with them all day. Had the experience of sitting among the girls from Femenino, could be very uncomfortable as their major preoccupation is nothing but sex and bad they had to be coming here all day for filming, seeing all the guys sweating either jogging, playing football or Basketball, guess they are turn on. Took some magazines and books to read, had a good lunch, which comes from one of the many sponsors helping with the film project. The girl I had to sit with on the set was from Mexico who has done 9 Months and still on process. All they talk about is sex and wanting it. No wonder Manni feels so uncomfortable being around them. Guess they are starved of it and wants it badly.

The police who accompanied them today was a piece of thorn as she was all about on them and on us, later heard it was her first time accompanying the girls out. So she tried to play the Boss, well it all ended and back to my cell.

Things are coming clear about the transfer and what is happening in the centre, there are so many snitches here, just like Robbie said, one has to keep his secret to himself, that is if you even have any secret at all. As one can barely trust the next man standing sometimes even ones cellmate, as we have seen many moving from their cells to new ones once they are not in good terms with their mates. That could be very fatal, once you have issues with your cellmate, trust is gone for good, and the best option or alternative is looking for another cell, as there had many incidents of mates stabbing each other while one is sleeping.  

The Panamanians as I have come to learn of them are chickens; the main players in this region are the Colombianos and the Mexicanos. According to Jer, majority of the Panamanians snitches on each other hoping they will get favour from the Director or cops or even the Custodios. I guess majority of them haven´t realise that these guys are paid by the Government to keep them here and make sure they don´t get back into the society.

I now understand why my warden buddy who got us our phone, really warned me about others knowing that he was the one who brought in the phone.

The famine or food scarcity is still on, we can´t wait for weekend when people will flood in with food and groceries. Right now, prices of anything available has gone up drastically.

One of the guys that sells Moonshine and rum approaches Manni if he will buy some off him, guess Manni told him no, he also sneaked beside my bed to ask me. Well told him, right now we need food, it won´t be a good idea to drink Rum on an empty stomach. Too bad as he got his drink in at the wrong season, our Italian godfather used to be a good spender. Now that he is gone, I guess sales will drop badly here. Hear from Fabio that he was taken to Pabellon 8 in La Joya; one of the recently build Pabellon in La Joya, fitted with CCTV cameras, he complained bitterly about there as the water is only turned on twice daily. Hope he calms himself in his new domain, well despite the ill reputation, things seems to run well there as there is more corruption in the big and maximum jails than this place. More good and proper liquor, proper cigarette, unlike the Chinese Malboro I see them smoke here (actually made in China as everything on the pack in written in China). And they even have more Laptops than we do, not that they are studying as most of the guys here claims to do. Over there, they have got big Colombianos and other Latin American drugs Czars doing their time or just chilling out for to things to cool down, then they will be out. Just like one of my Buddies here who paid loads to get here and have spent close to 70Grand or more to get out, but had to chill out till things get cool, then he will be let off by his super contacts in high places.

Back here, life and struggles continue alongside each other as we battle to stay together and keep the peace.

We survive through the night with sausages which Manni made with soya sauce; thank God we have some avocado, which was good with the rice.

Spent the night reading and chatting, Jer been a bit withdrawn as he really wants to leave. Hope the Brit gets him out of here as he is really looking up to it.

Another well spent day and hope life continues smoothly without incident, my only fear now, is now that John the Colombian big paymaster is gone, the guards will be more on us to meet up with their weekly turnover. That is life in the Jungle.

Wednesday, 19th of May 2010.

Up as Billy came with my BF, wanted to workout today, but gotta work on the library as early as I can before my Christian writer friend will get hold of the pc. Luckily made it to the library after a cuppa, spent most of today on the pc writing and editing some of my work. Back in cell, had my BF of Bread and Avocado with another cuppa. Saved my lunch of chicken for dinner as we don´t know what the night will bring along.

While in the library, Manni brought the key to the cell, well, knowing that Jer was sleeping, asked after him, but said, Jer wanted to be locked in while he sleeps, guess things are a bit tough with him, when you know your time is due and you need to leave, guess one starts counting the days. I do want him to go, even if he was Panamanian, he has done  more than half of his time and more than two third of his time, which entitles him for release, coupled with good behaviour. How I wish the Brits knows the true nature of this place, they won´t let him stay here that long.

Manni was out all day with his crew, guess they are putting a finishing touch to the film, hope this project will win the heart of the judge that will sit on his hearing and gives him a reduced sentence.

Did some workout in the cell with the bar in the cell, can be good for the shoulders and ABS. Business goes on as usual in the centre, more guys are making moonshine, guess we ain´t buying as we ain´t got Benjamins.

While working out, heard the water will be turn off, guess the guards are tired of pushing grown up men to shower every evening. Patio is supposed to be lock by 4pm and the cells by 6pm. But some days by 7pm most guys are still running around trying to get their last dope or grass for the night. The worst are those that stay up playing dominoes when they know fully well, it´s lock up time.

The shower stopped running, but we had water in the cell, filled up the containers and empty soda bottles. Had one of the tanks out for my shower, the water later came up in the evening.

Manni was able to get some eggs but more expensive than what we usually pay for eggs. Together with sausages gotten from the Prison food and rice, we made something edible for the night. Another survival, Jer wouldn´t eat, guess he had something from his buddies outside.

Loads of changes have been made to how things will be run here in the centre, and same goes with other prisons in Panama. The new Director of Prisons in panama; a one time chief of security during the Noriega regime who replaced Kaa who was probably the best man for the job. Is making so many changes, over here, there won´t be any special visits and no change of visit from the normal weekend to weekdays. But when Fabio talked the Director, he said, we foreigners will be allowed special visit if we do ask. Guess I won´t need that for a long time.

Over in La Joya and La Joyita, two of the most notorious jails in Panama, there has been shows of resent to the new rules, over there, inmates were allowed just two visit each Months. Families and loved ones had to wait from 7am for full search before getting in by 1pm for a 30 Minutes visit. There was unrest as most of the inmates took to the roof and refused lockup since Tuesday evening. According to the new rule, they will be allowed just one visit per Month, that is atrocious and I wonder what the new Director was thinking when he was making this new rules. Well I wouldn´t blame how things are done there, when I was there, I heard of how Mothers, Spouses and friends smuggled drugs for their sons, husbands and friends to sell.

Trading on those things inside here is very lucrative, many fight and died just to stay on top of the trade and control the market; Monopoly!! Guess the real economics of business is also applicable over here as in the real world.

Money is suppose to be coming from the outside into prisons to help the inmates, but here, most inmates can comfortably look after their loved ones from gains and profits generated from sales of their wares inside the prison. No wonder many feel at home and enjoying their stay in here. And can afford to live comfortably for so many years while doing their time. What a world!!!

At the end of yesterday, there were two deaths and five escapes from La Joya, I guess trying to put pressure on these guys will bring about more rebellion and more escapes. I hope those running the Panama prison system should watch the Ross Kemp On Gangs documentary, when he was in South Africa most notorious Prison. They will see how a warden runs the prison and able to suppressed and keep the inmates on latch without major incident. They drink, party, blow smoke on Saturday´s night and sleep out on soft Porn on Sunday, what a way to run jail, but they gotta do something to keep the lid on or like a pressure cooker, when it´s open, it could be very explosive as we are seeing now.

Spoke with Schat as we watch film and chat through the night, too bad as our television is not working due to signal problem. Kinda better as we won´t be putting up with the rubbish of Panama programs.

Spent the rest of the night reading and hoping for a quick court date, hoping I will be call any moment from now.

Thursday, 20th of May 2010.

Up as Billy came, got my BF and back to sleep, been raining all night and through this morning, nice for a change, but then, can´t jog and won´t be able to do much workout in the field. Guess gottta to stick to the gym and do some proper weights.

Terence, one of the best Brewers and our Yankee crack head here came in with loads of books and magazines for me. He will be leaving soon, after some time here. And also drop half a litre of moonshine for me, he will love to visit my country to try proper grass, I hope the grass haters from other EU countries won´t pressurize our Government into giving in for a total ban on grass, as I have read in recent times how a border city had closed all the Grass joints since they believe majority of the tourist are coming to get high. Well, if I´m a lawmaker, people should have the right to what they want so long they don´t disturb others.

Had a bowl of oats without milk as there´s none, and out for workout, but ended up in the Library, try to finish some work and also make list of our groceries. Hope the law on groceries doesn’t change before weekend when we are suppose to get them in. Once you get too much groceries, it won´t be allowed in by the cops as they believe you are trading on them; to trade here, one need a permit from the Director. One of the old guys here used to trade and he was a real squirrel, I remember back in December through Pope´s help having him lend me $5, had to pay $6.50 in about 3 days later. He used to sell things one can munch as snacks and also bits of food stuffs, but had to stop as he needs Permit.

Despite all this phony policies or politics, those who knows the right button to press, still get what they want.

Finished from the Library, and to gym for workout, ended up with the wrong set of guys, had to hasten my workout and leave. Hanging around some of these guys could become fatal as any little stupid words could go a long way. I remembered the last fight; it was Malo Palabra (Bad Words). The problem with them, they don´t just know how to say please, how to ignore and let go. Even when they are begging you for a favour, they think you ought to give them. Guess one had to learn certain things in life the hard way.

Back to my cell, had a quick shower, stayed in reading until Jer called me up, gave me 2 pieces of chicken thigh, well didn´t bother to ask where he got it. Went around, got some Garlic and he got Onions, which he made something for the night. Sometimes, no matter how hard or gloomy it may look, there´s still that glimpse of hope that we will pull through each day.

Manni, came in with one and half litre of Moonshine, since nobody is buying, his main dealer forced him to take one bottle and pay whenever he wants. I guess they will all miss the godfather as he use to be a good buyer. Told him, it won´t be that fun drinking Moonshine without ice, so he got one bag. And finally got in when the door was open for him.

Schat rang and we spoke briefly, she got loads to do back home. Had always thought it will be less busy with her Maternity leave, but loads, so glad that she is very strong both physically and mentally. The kids are doing fine and lil Jane is also doing well, but sleeps all day only to wake at night, I guess that´s where they would have needed me most as I used to stay up all night either reading, watching or browsing online.

Wasn´t bad as we drank it with our dinner, sometimes it helps with the sleep as one sleeps off as soon as you hit the bed. Later had tea and biscuits, wasn´t bad to end the night, Jer and Manni in the tea party.

Hope it doesn´t rain tomorrow as I need to walk and jog on the field before doing weights.

Tried reading, but the little devils from the moonshine keeping shutting my eyes, finally succumbed to the power of sleep.

Friday, 21st of May 2010.

Up several times to wee, we had the music playing all night, good soul music from my USB flash drive, sometimes nice hearing some cool music while sleeping.

Billy brought in my BF, since I always leave my bowl on the table, he dropped in on it, up and put in inside. Finally got up and dressed up for my workout. Terence came around and asked how many bottles of Moonshine I will need, well told him, no greens and won´t be getting any soon, he still pressed I should get them and pay next week. I guess he is not thinking if his people comes for him tomorrow, he won´t get the money. Maybe he will want me to wire or send it to him in the states. Like Fabio with his cell mate who was freed, sold Fabio an old banger phone, and had been calling Fabio to send him the money. Wonder how this guys thinks, he is a free man and out on the street. And still asking someone lockup to send you money for an old banger phone which only God knows when that phone started doing time inside the prison. As it is, any phone like knives that comes in here, doesn´t go out. They pass from hands to hands, generation to generations until it´s dead or taken during requisar (Search).

Had my oats with Milk Jer bought from upstairs; the boys up in the Pabellon really know how to trade in time of recession, powder milk are repacked and sold for a dollar each wrap.

Left for the library to finish our groceries list and do bit of writing before taking to the field and my workout.  Did loads lapse on the field and then weights in our makeshift gym. Didn´t stay long before Jer came for me that my Lawyer was around, didn´t want to go but to fulfil all righteousness, went up and it was same story, my files are in the court waiting for the judges to sign and give me a date. Well, wonder how long that will take, just to put a bloody signature on the damn paper. Maybe they are waiting for some back hand, ain´t coming from me.

Guess mine is much better than Fabio as his hasn´t gone to the court yet, according to my lawyer, the laboratory has only two machines for all analysis, and right now only one is functioning. That means a lot of cases are piled up and they have to wait till the machine is fix. It could be a very long queue and long time to wait; most guys like the Colombians with loads of green pays to get their case push forward and get a quicker court date. So at the end, one can say or conclude that all is possible with money. Maybe if I had done same, should be baking my ass somewhere under the sun sipping gin and juice.

Back in and did some workout with the bar in my cell, very helpful especially during lockdown.

No food for tonight, so we got to make do with what comes on our prison food, had Macroni and what looks like salad, but didn´t smell or taste like salad. Warmed it up on the hub, add some spice and later had it as my dinner, can´t be that greedy, left some for Ernesto. Manni had his pancake from what was left from the one I made during the day. We all had ours except him as he has eaten on the set of his film. Had some moonshine which Manni got from Leo, guess he is living up to his English heritage as everyone from that isle are known to love their lager. It wasn´t a bad brew as it was guaranteed by the brewer that it is a wicked potent one.

Had a power nap and woke up to read all night till 3am, pondered over loads and how things will be after the court, just up I get my repatriation back home approved by both Governments, as it will be real devastating to spend loads of years here. It will be a real drain on me both psychologically and physically.

Despite the negative feeling which comes up once in a while, I´m still optimistic about the future and what will become of me after the trial. Hope my repat goes well on both sides.

Saturday, 22nd of May….

Up as Billy came in with my BF, got just two slice of bread and a boiled egg, not bad for a start. Drank my Noni, thank God for such fruit, Nobody seems to like it as it stinks so bad, but after reading the health benefits of the fruit, I decided to stay on it. Hope it works as I have read loads of articles about it.

Back to sleep until Pepe ccame calling that I should open the door for him, wonder where he always dress up to very early. Let him in, he wasn´t happy as he learnt that he won´t be going out alone on any of his appointment outside, yesterday, he had a letter that states that he won´t be accompanied whenever he is going out for appointment in the hospital, he was so happy as he will the freedom of getting stone or pissed. But this morning after confirming from the Director´s office, he won´t be allow alone. I guess this man has lost the kick that made him a dangerous man. He may look strong, but he is a 62 years old man and likely with Hernia as he is been going for checkups lately.

Hope he gets better and stay off the gym and lifting of weights, he should let the younger ones do that.

Back in bed, was called up by Perla; my computer hire shop, guess he is broke and I am also. He left the laptop with me to use till lockup. Had to find 8 bucks to pay him, I really need the laptop for my blog update and other things.

Left to the library as our smokers friends were all in the cell, listening to music and smoking. Had a good and better signal in the library than what we always get in my cell. But then nowhere to plug the power, the battery juice got drained up, when I move to the other part of the library where I can use the mains, there was no signal reception. Back to my cell, the guys were done with their smoking.

Was able to set up and get on with my work… Schat topped up my phone online, nice of her, despite the fact that she is as broke as I am. Glad that she can manage with the little resources she has.

Met with Andorra over my laptop permit, paid him half of the money, he promised by this week, can´t wait for him to get this done. Since the transferred of the guys to la Joya, the director issued a new Memo stating that everyone with laptop or PC should get a new permit issued and signed by him.

Many things has changed in the centre, so no more weekly visit, those having visit are all out and the rest of the boys are hanging around watching. Business is as usual and normal. Guess it will be a happy weekend as I heard there is real liquor, but the problem will be money as many are really broke to the bone.

Hope this week ends in peace without any major incident…… and we will survive through the night as we don´t have food. All is well!!!


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