Archive for March, 2011

The August Visitors in March!

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on March 18, 2011 by doingtimeabroad

Feeling much better or should I say relieved from the lower back pain! Taken the last of my diclofenac and vitamin B complex injections. Hope it works! Now, really have to be extra careful with weights, especially squatting, dead lift, barbell row! All exercises to do with back and legs! As health they say is wealth!

Yesterday, the 16th! Knew we’re getting visitors from back home. The embassy in Costa Rica, and our Consul here. Well didn’t know it will be an August vist type!

Up in the morning, as I slept late the previous night. Getting ready for workout as I haven’t been doing anything for days now due to the injury. Made salad or sandwich filler for breakfast. Then the call came; they are here. Thought we were meeting them upstairs at the administration block. But they came down to us, had to get my bed done!

Since there’s no table in the cell, our bed is our table when one isn’t sleeping. Just arranged the stuff properly, unlike most prison in the West, where inmates lives with proper regimen; sleep time, wake up, bathe, meals and work! But here nobody gives a sh*t of what goes on! Live or die!

It was nice they came, guess they knew beforehand what they will see, anyone who’s got interest in prisons in Latino American countries and in any 3rd world countries, shouldn’t expect a place where prisoner’s right is respected! It’s a norm here that prisoners are the scumbags of the society!

They had a nice tour round the pavilion. Damn Latinos and our Doped head Jamaican, they were on their tails like male dog on a bitch’s ass! The visit was ours, but it was also theirs as they all wanted us to speak about the conditions here; fcuking don’t know that Panama is a sovereign nation with democratically elected Government; even if he bought or rigged the votes and being on WikiLeaks now, he came in the right way! No country can do anything about how they treat the miscreants here.

The most they would do as we all know is write letters, asking for better conditions for inmates, which they will promise to change things! And that’s how far it goes. But we at the receiving end, know that nothing will change; the only day things changes here, is when you are called out and after your name comes the most wanted or desired word here; LIBRE! We don’t hear that quite often here in Pavilion 6! Not in hurry to hear mine as the road to freedom is still a long way from now!

Outside with our August-visitors, we had one-on-one conversation about everything, thought the Latinos wouldn’t let us have our moment to ourselves. Most sneaked out, guess to have proper view of the ladies. Despite all the nightly conjugal behind their closed curtains and Their 2D mamita on screen! Guess not enough! They wanted a 3D view! While we were busy, they were asking if this or that is married or single. Wonder what they freaking think in their heads!
Simple facts, they’re bloody inmates, and these ladies didn’t come all the way for match-making trip in jail!

The August meeting in March was fine as we needed it badly, the condition in the centre is deteriorating, having our consuls or embassies voiced out what we’re going through, might bring some changes as we need the changes here.

They were pretty Lucky, as they would have seen at first-hand what it is like living here. Soon as they left, or barely 30mins after they left, fight broke up in Pavilion 5 (the religiously gangs); there’re two different gangs in the pavilion and they’re both very religious, got the best PA system! Music of praise and worship are on full blast everyday and when one sees them outside on visit, they all walked with the Bible!

All these ceremonies doesn’t stop knives to be drawn when it’s needed! So they did on the 16th of March! From the top of our cells, we could see police on riot gears running in and shooting canisters of gases into the pavilion! And thanks to the wind, blowing the gas into our pavilion, as I’m writing now, still suffering from the gas irritation!

The wounded soldier or inmate was taken out! Hope he survives, it would have been a nice sight for our August visitors! But glad they left before the incident!

Back in the Pavilion, my mates want to know what we got from the visit! They? U don’t get to see nada, but with us, they want to see todos!

Migraine all day! Napped, but still didn’t work! Ran out of painkillers, bought one off one of my compatriots who needed to get a fag! Good barter trade!

Shawn; the only Jamaican I get along had my BB all day! Thank God I could tweak the phone, private files are locked up and protected with password of different layers! He’s always asking why all the extra security. Told him, wouldn’t be nice if I loose it in requizar, the cops will have a field day snooping into all my stuffs! A degree in IT wasn’t a waste of time either! He’s the only one who is positive minded, will be home next year! Got 5yrs plus for 1kg of Marijuana! Back home, one will get a slap on the wrist with some fine as first time offender!

His whole life was ruined, glad his old boss still wants him back! And a wife to go back to, not many are lucky like him! My schizophrenic mate, always ranting on his woman; fcuking doesn’t know, she’s got the ball in her court now! She can play with it as she wants! Guess his time has done him!

Got mad at him that wednesday evening! Had his water in his one bucket, but went to use mine! Would have allowed him. But thinking about the answer he gave me, when I asked him why he wouldn’t buy a new tank as his is leaking! He said, Never will he buy any tank, and he has actually never bought anything since he got busted! Living on people like a parasite! Always asking money from my Dominicano mate with promises to pay back and then forgets, and back again to ask for more! Short-term memory!

My mate knew, he ain’t paying back! Did that to me when I arrived here newly, but now He won’t try it, not even in his dreams! And glad I took to the gym! When he starts his ranting, I sing a famous dancehall line (look into my eyes, tell me what u see, am I ur enemy or ur friend) for him by one his hero and he is 44yrs old! Freaking scares him now! He believes and always chants respect to the DJ who sang that song! Once we argued, told him there’s no originality in the guy’s songs! Mi a badman! Said my taste of music is old fashioned! But at least the lyrics are better than Bounty killer’s lyrics!Lol!

To make him happy, I sometimes play my dancehall bashment! It brings or takes him to his world! Of a truth, don’t know why a man of 44 should be jumping to lyrics like “go suck ur mother” and “badman 4ward, badman pull-up” and “walking wiv my nine”! That actually proved that the saying “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” is true!

Over the water! He said the reason he took mine, someone used his! To proof my point that his tank is leaking, I emptied one of mine into his and kept it aside! In less than 5mins, it went half! Proved beyond doubts and in front of others! That shut him up for good! He left the cell murmuring! Called him back to use my water!

My annoyance was in his answer to my question, then I’m the fool thinking of water and how we can get more containers! The Latinos, can stay days without bathing, maybe they’re camels!

Next day, he forgotten all that happened the previous day. He got up early to work his dentures and filled up his little gallons, actually boiled water for me! Well, saw it as an olive branch given to me for peace! Told him thanks and let sleeping dog lie!

He will be leaving soon! Got a new trainers Schat sent from my stuffs, and happens to be his perfect size! He offered to buy it off me! Said NO! But at the back of my mind! Will give it to him when he’s living and a Tommy Sandals; that he loves so much!

At a time was scare of him poisoning me as he actually used that as a threat! Being here, I now know, the Latinos are capable of doing such, if they can’t fight! For now, in good term with everyone; no contact with people helps!

Feel better on thursday as I hit the gym and patio! For the first time in days! Fresh air and sunlight (Sunlight they say is the best antiseptic)! Fcuking need it!

My kittens are winning the hearts of many now as many are seen cuddling them! And they sleep like the word sleep! Very playful with care-free spirit! Lucky lil things, no idea of where they are!

Feeling feverish, guess from the gas yesterday as it was really much in the air! Hope I get better so I can workout 2morrow!

Searching for correspondence course that won’t require internet access! Schat surprised me by sending link to my uni offering distance learning programme on psychology and criminology as a combined degree programme! As if she was reading my mind! Don’t think I will be able to keep up with the pace in IT!

Being here and among my fellow inmates, gives me a new view and perspective about life and a career pathway; Social Sciences!

For now, more research is all I need!


Dreams, Wishes and Hopes; None as there is Nothing Beyond The Horizon of Our World!

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Living Behind Bars in Panama on March 14, 2011 by doingtimeabroad

Since I rarely visit other cells, the gym is the only place they now find me to settle scores of arguments and dispute from the previous night. Idleness and not being able to use the much available time for something positive! I could surmised from all they asked, many of these young men, who once had wishes and hopes but today had lost all to the four walls of La Joya Carcel! Their visions are limited to what they see around them, there’s no attempt to broaden even through the several form of media available to us!

Since my last blog update, things has changed a bit in the centre. Water is getting back to normal (when I say normal, I actually meant, twice a day); enough for the day use; like the Biblical Manna, gather enough for the day! How I wished we have the big barrels like other cells, then I’ll be less worried about water. Till then, It’s one of my preoccupation along with so many things. Another change on the negative side; the centre is now full to capacity, will surmised that soon one can’t walk along the passage without bumping into someone and that may on its own lead to heated argument.

All signs of my being transfer back home to continue with my time seems to be pessimistic! I have started the first phase and process here in Panama! Once it is approved; which takes ages. The second stage will be to make a formal application back home (from the least I have heard, they said NO). Well, glad there ain’t like Panama where there’s no judiciary and legal process to go about things.
When the time comes, do hope to fight till the last. Wouldn’t wish Panama prisons on the worst of enemies!

Back to our Les miserables vive! It hasn’t been easy, the gym is packed to capacity as we had more inmates sent down from other pavilion and new ones who didn’t know about Panama! Welcome to the jungle.

Truly a Jungle; couple of days back, the guys sleeping in d equipment storage room (Chutra) found a black scorpion, wonder what would’ve happened if someone got stunk!

One of the new lads who came in recently, came with a gift for us; however, it was a deadly one; Chickenpox! Survived the outbreak back in Renacer! So far, a Jamaican sharing same cell with him has it now and it’s terrible! Will be a disaster if it spreads as the centre is damn crowded!
And the clinic doesn’t have the emulsion needed to keep the blisters dry. He’s suffering, fever, pains and isolation as no one want to come close to him.
Hope it doesn’t go further than his cell as it will be disastrous!

Life has been normal; by normal, I mean no fight or event that will make our abnormality more abnormal!
Just a few outburst from debt collectors on their debtors who’ll never meet up with promises made in good faith!lol!
The dope-head Latvian, at the end of receiving silent blows from the Jamaicans and Colombians to whom he is owing quite loads. when all adds up, words around put his debts at about a grand or more!
Had a pep talk with him, that he’s got a long time to be here, it’s worth he relaxes and start the beginning steady and slowly. Guess my words fell on deaf ears as he is still accumulating debts all over the pavilion. And the system won’t do anything to help him out of his addictions, one funny and good thing here, most addicts come out of their addictions on their own, when support from back home has dwindled or dried out. Then they can’t get credit from the sellers or suppliers; a good example of trade and commerce!lol! Thought I learned that in my 1st year at the Uni! Didn’t learn that when one can’t get dopes he would stop, I have seen few turned a new leaf as no money to support their habits! Guess when they get to their senses, also seen many took to dope, one of my compatriots does it every night, doubt if he will come out of it as he flings anything to keep his line of supply open. Also sells moonshine to the Latvian who is always intoxicated! Sometimes he gets blackouts, when he comes around, he’s told he’s owing certain amount. Well not knowing how he piled up the debts, he simply agreed and call his dad to send money! Heard his father is tired of getting calls from inmates here!

Update on the Latvian crack-head, since his dad lives in England, one of the English guy here took it on him to call his dad and get his debts issue sorted. He actually went around with a book to all his creditors to get the exact amount he owes them. Most had theirs inflated, the lad has got no idea how much he owes people here. From what I saw, his old man has loads to pay; more than $3500. Even when this is paid, for how long will he keep paying for his son’s dope and folly?

My schizophrenia Jamaican mate said he owes him $575, guess the lad didn’t incurred all that from fags he bought from him. When I asked how it got to such amount, he said, from fags and cash he credited him to buy moonshine, dopes and weed! Guess on interest, to pay more. But this shows how foolish most are. Knowing fully well we are prisoners, anything can happen. Nothing here is certain, life expectancy in Panama’s jail is same as most Latin American countries; poor medical, malnutrition, bad hygiene, and gangs within jails! And none of them ever thought that, this Lad could be sent off to another pavilion as he has ran into muddy waters, stepped on loads of toes. Even ran his mouth at me, when he told me ” suck your mother”; almost killed him for that! Dope head, doesn’t know, mothers are sacred!
Later apologised, Said he always hear a crack-head Jamaican use the phrase, thought was same as Motherfcuker! accepted his apology and let him walk!
I believe the next transfer from here is seeing him out of the Pavilion, guess he will be the first inmates that will make other cry on his leaving; as his creditors will have to forego their debts. But where will they take them to as most pavilion are full to capacity! And foreigners can’t be housed in same pavilion with Panamanians; they’ll milk any foreigner living with them dry! Rumours had it, a Canadian and an American, both, long gone were repeatedly and severely gang raped when they lived with the panamanians. With knives on their throat, and they were made to call their families to send money! Damn, being held hostage by fellow inmates! Most of the Panamanian inmates had first time experience with sex in prison as most were locked up as early as at 14 years of age. So much abuses goes on behind the walls of this jail and human right group are never granted access to them. Whenever any officials comes, they’re ushered into our Pavilion, some will even walk in unguarded! But not in the panamanians side! The authorities knows very well, that our pavilion is the only place they can allow outsiders in and they won’t worry about security. Damn the management! Smart guys!

My first attempt in the moonshine or liquor business was a big success; many who vowed they’ll never taste or drink anything brew behindbars were forced to break their vows! Since they heard I made it, they sort of had confidence that it will be well made!
And the fact that I told them I got my recipe online; what dullards they are! wasn’t meant to be sold. We drank and fortunately for my cellmate; PocaLucha (little Hustler), when I decided to unveiled my brew it was his Birthday. We marked his day on a good note with my Pineapple wine! Thanks to the old farmer who has been brewing his stuffs for years and will not support globalisation and commercialisation of what we can make and drink at our own leisure and for our pleasure by posting all his fruit wine recipes online. And also thanks for corruption that makes it possible to have a BB behindbars; access to www for better recipes!

Our routines might look the same every other day, but so much goes on in this small world of ours! If you’re interested in knowing things that goes on here. Your ears will be filled with loads, but the most will be absolutely rubbish and lazy talks among men acting like sissies or pu**sies!

Well, many’re actually acting and living like that! Well, had thought that after all the brawls resulting from all night binge drinking by inmates; further consent for such will be stopped! Was wrong, it’s a norm here.
Some weeks ago, some of the Latinos we felt or suspected are doing each other, had permission to celebrate whatever known to them alone! But we all knew, there’s nothing worth celebrating here; even when one has a date for his freedom, he guards it with his life as a top secret. As it is in the biblical lesson; your left shouldn’t know what your right is doing. That, my fellow inmates can be good at, but not in things that matters most!
Well, they had the best of their time and a night of pomp and pageantry; their jolly noises were heard all over the pavilion. One’ll be surprise at the sheer amount of inmates here doing each other, hope they’re doing it the safer way. They’re the ones spending their time right and well.

Back in Renacer, the Panamanians will never tell each other when they are leaving, as they can’t trust no one. Not even fellow gang members as they can have an assassin waiting outside. That, they actually did to a pastor who came to preach in Renacer.

A young Pastor, whose campaign has been against gangs in the various barrios (neighbourhoods in the city). My former mate at Renacer, Manni had him on tape on his last programme in Renacer, as soon as he left the centre. He was ambushed on his way home. Shot several times and died on the spot. From words coming from Renacer, calls were made from Renacer and the said Assassins waited outside and did him! Why? Just because the gangs are losing members to his preaching! Guess gangs should have benefits and incentives for being a member than just tattoos! Then they could boost membership!Lol!

One never know whose ones enemy or enemies are in a place like this, most laughs with you and stab you behind your back! So bad the jails ain’t like those in the West! We are 10 or more in a 6 men cell, and at 8am the cells are opened till 5pm when they are locked. Within that time frame, if the patio is opened, many will use the opportunity to sport and do any type of outdoors activities before the patio is closed at 11am! Thus, keeping themselves from idleness!

But many also will spend the same time sleeping, and the rest will use theirs gossiping about others! Very common among the black Colombians, damn annoying when they come so early to my cell, no space to move around. Wished, I had a bed, wouldn’t mind all these!
Funny thing with them, it’s the same thing they talk about each day; picked on who’s out of sight and talk about him! How someone else is doing his missus on the street. Wonder how men can be in this situation and still have the time to be bothered about other people’s business when you’ve got loads to worry about! When they see or hear us; the English speakers arguing, it’s either sports or politics! at least something that makes some senses! Fcuking don’t know anyone here from Adam, so why would I be bothered with their miserable life when I’ve got loads on my head to keep me very busy.
Guess they all knew themselves back home as they all come from Buenaventura in Colombia!

Sometimes, my mate and I, share some good laugh about the whole thing. Over here, it’s a different world altogether!
Unlike most jails in the West which run work and rehabilitation programs to get inmates busy. Over here, there’s nothing and that’s why they have the time to while around and gossip like Sissies. Even getting a job to reduce oneks time, one has to pay to work! The other way around!
Though there are few who’re doing their time wisely, making Pen, jewellery’s case and little piece of wood. Handicraft! But the majority ‘of them are having Their times do them.

Couple of weeks ago, we heard the Colombia Govt and their Panamanian counterpart had reached an agreement to send back all Colombians whose cases has been closed and sentenced! Guess what is stalling this process, will be who will bear the burden of getting them home; if this project kicks off and it’s accomplished, the jails will be virtually empty! As the Colombians make up the largest percentage of foreign inmates in Panama.

For now, that project has stalled as none has been released! Guess, till further notice! Like every project here in Panama that has to do with prisoners. Many are due to be released, but being foreigners, they are not allowed to go free on two-third or half term! But Nationals are let off once they reached their half time or two-third! Not us foreigners!

Our world may be a small world where we all know each other, but I can compare this place to a market place! All sort of good are traded here, could be one’s life story, services (BJ’s, Massage, money lending and exchange and beating up debtors) or physical goods (things stolen from other Pavilion or from visitors)! Once, a program was held and a football club from the national league came, many of the coolers and stuffs the guests brought, ended in our pavilion as many panamanians nicked things. Those working, are always with things to sell in our pavilion! From the type of phones used here and other things one will tell that many are living at large here. Groceries are brought in wheelbarrows to those with money and connection! Well, those of us without, we’re on the sideline watching like spectators!

We had our share of jumpers! Guess not like the dude in the film, if that was possible. Damn be the first to opt for it, but ours were real, the lads, young, vibrant and I believe got so much to live for, maybe I’m wrong! Nothing to live for and no worries! One Colombian and the other a Dominican! While others were busy outside stretching and catching the early morning sun. Our lads had higher plans, just as the wire-fence are high.

From eye witnesses, people thought they were climbing to pick up ball, but when they saw them make their way up the second fence. Damn that wasn’t ball picking, probably the ball was way deep into the jungle. They were up on the second wire fence when the cops on the tower realised this wasn’t no ball picking but an escape taking place right under their watch! Then came the barrages of gun shot (M16)…tatatatatatatatatatatatatata!
Soon I heard the shots, ran out to see, all d cops were running towards our pavilion, sending everyone in!

From the top of our cells we could see the cops gathered like vultures around carcases, we knew something has gone wrong. The Colombian landed badly and sprained his ankle; thus slowing down his movement. The Dominican made it out, kept in contact with fellow Dominicanos, since he had a phone on him.

But his freedom was short lived when he was caught and brought in, two days later. From his side of story, he made it to the little village close to the prison. I assumed the residents seeing him looking different from them must have called the cops and probably words had gone out about an escapee coming that way. According to their plan, the colombian was supposed to lead as he knows Panama more than his mate. But since he got injured, I’m almost made to believe the Dominican will end up walking in circle as he has no knowledge of where he is!

We all know what is coming, total lock down for days, weeks or even months! Next day, we remained locked up, wasn’t for long as on the 3rd day of the escape! The cop on duty; our dope head cop, knows he won’t get no greens if he doesn’t let us out. We were finally let out, but patio remained closed, we can now make use of the gym and away from the stink of our bodies. And from stinks when one uses the toilet!

He got his greens and left, leaving the cells opened meant, the next cop on duty will also leave the cells open as he met it that way. We were left that way and till now no full patio, maybe once in a while, a 30 mins patio! But glad our cells ain’t under Lock! Would be awful!

Living with people for such a long period could be disastrous to one’s mind and mental well-being! Strange fellows with weird attitudes. My schizoid Jamaican mate got the worst I have ever seen. Once someone finished taking a sh*t in the toilet, he jumps in, fcuking don’t know what he goes in to do? That’s one of the weirdest I have seen here! Maybe it gives him some sort of kick! Guess he knows better! Sometimes, when one is the toilet, I ‘ll be looking for a way out of the cell or as far as I can be from the stench! But, not him, he’ll bloody stay and savour it!
Lately, we’ve been on equal grounds, just the occasionally talking to himself and cursing whoever he’s got in his head! From the most I hear him say, he sort of believe that he is an Assassin and that Jamaica is heaven on earth; think, my mate is missing home and really home sick!

Latest from him, he spoke up one evening, saying we should hit out beds by 9pm! Guess that was the last straw on the camel’s back! Told him, not even the prison authorities has power or control of what goes on in this pavilion. And now he, a fellow prisoner like me, should tell me when to sleep! Well he should count his blessings! As everyone didn’t like that idea, he sleeps early and wakes up by 5am, banging things around and brushing his dentures (with a gold tooth)! Since I told him to stop turning on the TV by 6am, he has stopped and that has helped me sleep better!

Other characters in my cell are the lead Colombian who wouldn’t mind his freaking business; apparently, he’s the one bringing all the gossips here every morning. He talks most about others. And also the pastor who has been locked up for more than 8 years without trial. Despite being caught with nothing! Just because a midget here grassed on him and several others. They have all been locked up for that long. Now the Government wants to set them free, but can’t afford to let them free just like that, they want to place them in the city with tags!
His papers came on thursday 24th of February, that he is leaving on Friday the 25th, well, as if I knew, told him I’m not in a rush to move to the bed. Will keep it for him for another 2 days!
Just as I said, Friday came and he wasn’t taken! Excuse; bloody Indians have been demonstrating over some mining rights and now the local Bus Drivers (Diablo Rojos; American school bus transformed into bus for mass transit) are also protesting as the government ran-metro bus are taking over their local routes!

All these demonstrations has also caused us a lot, our food don’t make it in on time and sometimes it doesn’t come at all! In place we get 2 cans of sardines per cell; that’s for 10 or more people! Even the grocery store has got nothing to sell, no ice to keep whatever we had in good condition. and the worst of all, we can’t get any medication from the clinic as they said, they are short of staffs! And I have ran out of my medication! Hope something positive happen soon!
Due to the blockage on the road by these crazy social groups; food were airlifted to us one occasion! Ironically speaking, that’s how special we can be!
Was forced to email my consul, who acted promptly and called the clinic, she was told, my drugs are there but nobody to get it to me. Hopefully on Monday things will get back to normal. Glad she responded on time, I only hope that the drugs will be despatched as soon as possible. Not feeling too well as my BP is damn high; getting blurred vision in d dark! Not good!

Today, Saturday the 26th of February, looks like things will get back to normal as I have seen 3 bags of ice in the centre. That brings hope that things we ordered days ago, will be coming in today. Was wrong, the ice came in to those with strong contacts, still nothing! But at least we can get cold soda to drink. The food so bad that most inmates considering staging a protest, hope they know what that means; locked down and the twice a day water may be shot off for days! People learn from past experience, guess not with my fellow inmates.

More, more and more people are being brought in on daily basis. Sort like the Nazi’s concentration camps; people taken in and none leaving! The process is so lengthy that most looses hope of ever leaving.
Among the newcomers, are 4 Chinese Lads who came to fame from an infamous act of kidnapping! They were on TV, smiling! Guess they didn’t know what lies ahead for them. Looking at these tiny fellows, one will be wondering what they kidnapped; had thought of cats or dogs!Lol!
Even at gunpoint, will wipe the gun of their hands and tell them to show some respect like my Jamaican mate always say “Nadie tienes respect”! That’s is his slogan whenever his mind flips! So when we hear the Respecto! We allow him some breathing space!

They actually kidnapped a rich girl of 5 years; a daughter of a rich Chinese lady who is bloody connected in Panama. They’re fcuked! as they will be doing time, hope they’re also connected. Heard kidnapping is a big business among the chinese in Panama. Good for them!
Played pingpong with them, had always thought they were good at it, guess only when on steroids. Thrashed the shit out of them. Freaking scare when they saw me! Mean, motherfcuking BigBlack! after the game, they were rest assured i’m not like what TV portray of big, muscular Black guy in Jails! When they see me, with head slightly bowed, they greet me! Good at least some respect and a good thing, I’m big and strong! Many had asked if I won’t get tattoos, not in this freaking place! Taken one risk that brought me in here. Can’t afford to gamble with my life, not again! Hope the dude sterilises his instruments, as many are getting stuffs drawn on their bodies. Some still got their own names tattooed on their body; think, it’s something with the Latinos! Well one of my compatriots actually had his name tattooed on his back (waistline)! Did that before he got busted! Can’t help wondering why he had his own name fcuking tattooed on his butt! Guess now he realised the folly of his youth! And another Mexicano got a Bold Junior tatooed on his back also, apparently that is his name. Wonder what they were thinking, getting their names on their body!

One will think of jail as a place to get a person into the thinking mood and becomes sober! Damn, if other inmates sees you in such mood, they bloody think you’re weak. And very common among the Latinos; they don’t know how and when to use words like excuse, sorry or please, they sort of see it as weaknesses. And I’ve taken it on me to be mean with them! If you’re in pain and you show it; you’re call Marica (Maricon) and they are the ones fcuking having moonshine fuelled orgies every now and then! I guess, they easily forget what they do behind closed curtains!

Many are so sick here, physically and mentally, the later is what worries me most. When they flipped, so much can happen! Couple of nights ago, heard some weird noises; couldn’t tell if it was my cats or an E.T has found itself locked up (anything could happen here). Next day, found out, one of the guys had concoctions of all shit and went berserk! We’ve got psychiatrist and other types of shrinks upstairs on the admin block, but I have never seen them attend to any of my fellow inmates! Even after a bloody fight, the parties are not taken out for mental evaluation!

Stealing is becoming rampant now, even my boxer was nicked, hope we don’t have an underwear pervert here!
Crazy fellas; once the cells are opened in the morning, noticed few dudes who always walked round the passage with eyes on the ground looking for what someone had loosed the previous night! Chief among them is little Chinga; the smallest lad here from Colombia, he has been walking that way for so long that he now have a hunch back! Can’t walk straight and erect! Hope it pays him good!

Finally, Monday 28th of February wouldn’t be forgotten as ice and other stuffs came in! What a big relieve! Without ice here, it will be deadly as we can’t preserve our food and no cold drinks.

And back home with my family, the kids are doing pretty good, but my son is losing his patience of waiting for me to come back home! His only question is always same “But, when are you coming back home, so I can get my Monster truck?”. My daughter sort of understands, as she sent me her first email, waooooooooh! couldn’t believe how time flies, she just turned six days ago! Hers, is always a direct question “will it still be long before you come back home?”. How I hope I have answers for their many questions, the only thing I could promise, when I gety back, ain’t leaving them again.

Glad that Schat has stood by me through all these and she had remained strong, for me and especially for our kids! She hasn’t relent on any of their out of school activities! And the little one is all grown up, doesn’t like Babies food as she wrestles anyone she sees eating for whatever they ate; wonder who likes babies food as they are tasteless, maybe somebody does; overheard the Jamaicans talking about one of my compatriots who actually uses Babies milk as he believes they are more richer than normal skimmed milk! Left to wonder if the cops that seized people’s stuffs at the security haven’t seen the milk during search as there’s no Baby in this prison! The dude is all messed up on steroids; can’t go in details! Hope he comes out of it!
Miss home and the comfort of my bed, waking up to Schat and not to 2 roaches bumping n grinding; on valentines’s day, I actually got up to use the loo and behold 2 cockroaches romping! Spared their lives as it was lover’s day! It was all red in Pavilion 2, as our Tranny neighbours came out for sunshine and tanning! Still wondering if the cops at security never questioned their families; who?, they’re taking female dresses to in an all male prison! They were all out in conspicuous colours and diverse styles. Rumours had it that some cops are getting it there also, hope they get it the safe way as there are rumours of STD’s among the villagers! Just as our numbers are growing, theirs are also adding up, wonder if they’re brought in from the streets that way or new converts coming out of the closet as soon as they get in here. Some are pretty young and one could pass them for ladies!

My biggest scare is still an outbreak of any kind of diseases, will be devastating; many stuffs are stolen from the panamanians pavilions and brought here for us to buy as we are foreigners and expected to be loaded. Hair clippers and others stuffs! Too bad, one walked in here healthy and leaves here a sick person.
On the above, many had walked in here little bit sane, but with the course of time, they lost their sanity!

My Jamaican Schizophrenia is one, believes he is an assassin and badman! Got one Gray underwear (Men’s brief), uses it to wipe his nose, sneezes into it, cleans his spoon and even his bowl with it. And the same brief; he uses as his towel. I gave him a new towel when I came here, surprise he doesn’t use it. Guess saving it for raining days! Uses one side of cotton bud to clean his ears and keep it for future use; to use the second side again! Now, is that a sane person? He’s due to go home July this year, but still talking about two-third early release and so believe in it, told me that last year when I first got here, that come Sept 2010, he will be going home. Do believe the dude hears voices! That’s really wacko!

This morning, 6th of March, up and did the washing of the toilet and bathroom! As the norm, not until I’m done, nobody should use either places. But he had to brush his gold studded dentures. He did it and washed his mouth into the container used for bathing! That was disgusting, even when I was through, he never thought of emptying the content into the toilet. So glad when his buddy in the cell Deep his hand into the bowl! Thinking it was soapy water! But it smelled like toothpaste! He asked me and after I told him, went berserk! Promised speaking to Bares the Loco or the Badman!

Yesterday, Saturday 5th of March was my busiest day here as I have to paint my new bed! Waitied Months for this day to come, glad it finally came! When my Consul came on Friday, she didn’t get the paint, glad one of my mates had some paint left over, had some of the white, painted the wall and under the top bunk bed! When I get the one my Consul will buy, will now paint my bed; it will be casa blanca!

Finally had my first night on the bed, damn couldn’t sleep properly as the body isn’t accustomed to the new feeling! My Cellmates were surprised at how I could get all my books to fit into the space. Well being here has thought me about space-management! PocaLucha who opens his mouth, say whatever comes in his empty head without thinking of the weight or impact of what he will say, almost got on my toes, gave him a word or two to shut him up for good. Like they say; “it’s better to keep one’s mouth close and be thought a fool, than to open it and proved beyond all doubt”!

When I told him that, and had someone translate it to him, he kept quiet all day! Well as men, we need some moments of silence, guess not with the Latinos! They can’t have a moment of silence and don’t want to see you silent for a while doing something other than talking or taking a piss at someone who is out of sight.
Having my bed, made me thought of the Giant Dutch prisoner who took the Dutch prison authorities to court as his bed was too Small! Well, if he was sleeping on the floor for 8 Months, he would’ve appreciated the bed. I’m taller than my bed, but it’s ok for me! Fcuking love it as it’s better than the floor! Can stay up late reading and know for sure I’ll be able to sleep over the next day. Can also take a noon nap, Waooooh! What a big relieve.

On the 8th of March strained my lower back, damn hurts! ‘ve got to take days off workout until I fully recover. Glad I still have some Diclofenac and Vit B compl left, will get someone to inject me. Hope it helps as the pain is excruciating!

Things are coming good in my cell, the day Japan had her share of the act of god; the earthquake! One of my cellmate was given his freedom after 6years into a 8years sentence. He has been waiting for this day! In a rush to leave before the cops change their minds, he forgot all his vital documents that he will need outside on the street. Apparently 11th March happened to be his birthday, so I believe it was the best gift he ever had in his life. The time they took him out was late, under normal circumstances, he will wait till the next working day. So happy for him.

Now, I have to move to his top bunk bed as there’s more space for my books and space to construct shelves for my books. The library should be the ideal place for the books, but who knows what these Latinos are doing with the books; ripping, using them as pillows. Thus keeping them by me is the only solution to the problem now.

My kittens growing well, the injured one is getting better. Funny things, they choose what they eat, won’t even touch the saussage we get for breakfast. Now they want to sleep in my cell, they follow my odour and always sneak in, as far as my bed. My mates don’t like it, they can only talk behind me as they can’t say any rubbish to my face!

Cowardly Latinos, can’t fight like men, only with weapons and in pack like wolves. One of my compatriots was pounced on by group of Colombians, despite my differences with him from a brawl we had. I didn’t like the idea he was attacked by a pack of cowards. His mates who are all from the same island with him, didn’t lift a finger, guess they don’t really get along as they all diss each other. The Latinos knew that, that’s why they attacked him. But I told them my mind that they’re all cowards, mariposas, and sissies who can’t fight like men. I’m quiet but I’m also prepare for what will come when it comes! Reading “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has really help me to adapt and live life behindbars differently. Everyday is warfare here, and one got to be ready. Never a deep sleep, but enough to keep me going. The Colombians threatened him and finally threw him out his cell. He was due to get a bed as one of his mates will be leaving soon. That’s how the Latinos conspire to get rid of others from the cell. But mine, I put them to where they belong to!

For days now, there’s been no ice, so much has rotten and many are forced to eat these things, damned life!

The carnival is just over, one of the trannies was a star of the carnival, he stole the show as we saw him almsot everyday on tv! What a star! Did 4yrs plus, as a National and with good relationship with the cops he is released.

My first night on the top bunk bed wasn’t easy! Damn too high, dare not turn or roll, the floor will catch me when I fall! Guess will be here for a while or maybe a long while, so gotta make it habitable! Crazy fellas asking me if I’ve had my first conjugal; all beds with curtains drawn, inmates believes one is jerking inside! Mostly those with personal TV and DVD players. They’re ones really busy with conjugal.

Busy with my course, glad my consul could help through an organisation back home to arrange some courses for those of us interested in doing something productive with our time here. Hope I can arrange more books to help me through the time I will spend here.

Life behindbars in La Joya is one with a tale of its own! Many of the older inmates here harbours great secrets which they won’t spilled out! But only a fool wouldn’t see some of those secrets!

For as long as we are here, our lives here are lived for the day as none is certain about tomorrow; thus very rare to find any among my fellow inmates with a long term plan about their lives when they leave the walls of La Joya!

Today, Sunday the 13th of March 2011, the day ended on a good note, despite all d sarcasm and sardonic languages and behaviour from my Latino mates who are exploring living with people of other cultures!

Finally up in my penthouse bed, but without ladies and champagne; talking about booze, damn cops, won’t let in pineapple, grapes and oranges. Thus can’t make any moonshine! And scare of the distilled stuffs, only used that for my Irish-coffee; not bad!

The gym is mine and hope I make it to the patio early enough as I want to catch the early morning sun!

A last one; A quote from my Canadian pal “I’m living life inside a jail cell. I might as well be living life inside a dirty hell I can’t tell” Thnx to BB, we can get our minds across even after lockdown!

A Mum or Wife! Supposed to bring in food for her loved one! But!

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on March 14, 2011 by doingtimeabroad