PRISON BREAK PANAMA: Escape From La Joya (The Jewel of the Jungle)

Everything evolves and revolves around our little world and within the four walls of the pavilion. Whatever one would imagine or dream of, have to be planned and executed within the four walls; but then, walls do have ears. There are unwritten rules that none should know of your plan, not even your case story or whatever brought you here; there’s no well-wishers among inmates, any progress on one’s case is a set back for the haters. Even when one takes ill, it’s a reason for some to rejoice. What pathetic souls we are.

Rumours and vibes from the grapevine about group of new inmates working late at night on what many knows but nobody dare talk; or else you will be brand a “Sapo” (Spanish word for Toad), a #Snitch, A grass. And in the #Underworld; snitches don’t live long to enjoy the payoff, even cops don’t like them; as they have sold their souls.
For about 3 Months, they hung all night playing board and card games, when all others are knackered and retired to their bunk beds, hammock and those without bedsteads to the cold floor (been there, know what it feels to sleep on the floor, and always woke up with a stiff back; that’s the awkward moment you realised you are in Jail)

Our three nocturnal animals get to work; slowly but steady and with patience. Someone who told me about the plan, sees them every night at work as he’s also night crawling; doing his things under the cover of darkness: giving head and been shove from behind all night by his different partners or niche of clientele. Hope safety measures are taken, as there’s an explosion of sickness among us. Extra preventive measures are needed to stay healthy and stop the spread of infectious diseases among #Inmates, but for now, none is forthcoming or anything in the pipeline from the authorities on inmates safety and healthcare. Guess, the authorities are happy to see the numbers dropped by any means.

I was lucky and fortunate to be called up on the Thursday (1st of March), a day before the attempted escape; in the middle of my workout for clinic visit; was also surprise as I never expected it. But thanks to my Asst. Consul who deserves a medal as big as a pancake pan. She has been very persistent to see that we get all necessary attention that can be gotten; if not we will all rot away, visit to clinic are for those with contacts and connection; a true form of #Prison #Nepotism!

Spent all day at the clinic, starving but eventually met a good doctor who was willing to listen and gave me all I asked for; to last for two Months, but then, it’ll be war to go back there on the next appointment on the 1st of May! Gotta do all I can to get back for my medications.

Each time one is lucky to visit the clinic, you have to braced up for what might come up or what you will encounter; it could be inmates from different gangs meeting and decided to do it there, forgetting the reason they went to the clinic. One could also be stood up all day waiting to be attended to or no vehicle to bring you back to one’s pavilion; there’s always something going wrong there. So many things can always go wrong; no medication, no doctors or nurses and the ultimate; the pharmacy or dispensary is closed for the day at midday! What a joke!!!

There’s no sense of responsibility, everybody does what he or she thinks to be right. Moreover, they are dealing with the scumbags of the society; #Prisoners. Thus, nobody give a damn sh*t about us.

Walk into this place; you have signed your death-warrant! As you can’t tell if you will make it out alive. It is a war of strength vs. Weaknesses; the system is the strength and as humans and inmate we’re the weak one!

It takes the fittest to survived the ordeals and hurdles of life within the walls of the centre. Many among use are suffering from chronic ills that need constantly monitoring, but not here.

Back in from the clinic, we won’t be allowed in as a pavilion with hardcore gangs were on the patio playing football. We had to wait an hour before we were allowed in. As the norm here is; inmates from different pavilions don’t mix, could be very fatal and a deadly encounter of the last kind.

Back to my #Nocturnal pals, all set and ready, but there were many flaws in their plans; the part of the building they set to work, right in front of the entrance and under the watch of the cops. The season (Dry season), they should have waited for the rains, the time was good; 3am when all were dead asleep except me; was reading when I head the barrages of gunshots!

The D-Day Came, 2nd of March! The Trio: One, very sick and hope of leaving here alive is very slim, no chance of survival if he’s to remain here for his time. The other two are new fellas involved in the same case; one apparently was the English teacher who recently has been working on his form in the gym to get fit for the #Prison #Break. The third, been very reserved, always keeping to himself and rarely talks to anyone; many here sees that as been pompous. But that’s the best way to live here, as they say “familiarity breeds contempt”; inmates are busy wanting to know about other people’s cases and lives, not thinking about their Les miserable vive ;-), the time they will spend here and how to make the best use of it. Get a call to the admin; they all be waiting to know what you went up for. Flippin idle-minded twats!

They thought they had all set up and at the final cut to the last iron bar; 3am the first slipped out, but landing on the old dog’s kennel with a loud bang; got the guard in the tower attention, who responded with warning shots, the other two made their way out, only to come back in, as the cops were shooting directly at them with shotguns; we later found out they all had pellets stuck in the bodies.

The decision to escape was a fatal mistake; every one of us who are here for some time know now, knows that the cops are trained to shot at any moving objects as they are too fat and clumsy to run after anyone (and as we also learnt from the commissioner of police during the search, that they are authorised to shoot directly at would-be escapees) good one!

The barrages of gunshots sent all out from their bunks, hammocks and those on the floor also got up to join in the fun. First thought; it’s an escape from one of the high secured pavilion. Little did many knew it was right under our noses. Soon we heard the pellets from shotguns dropping on our roof; then we knew how close it was and damn too close for comfort.

Then, we knew what was coming on us; search and rough ups! Seizures of anything luxurious. Everyone stashed all they’ve got to stashed as we all know the storm that will be coming in as soon as it’s dawn. Many thought the cops will come in while it was still dark, I knew they won’t make a silly mistake by opening the door for 500 inmates when they are just a handful of them. They had the building surrounded till daybreak.

We were finally hauled out, seated under the blazing sun while they roughen up our cells; flat screen TV’s, Smartphones and laptops were taken in the search, many lost stuffs. Some hungry cops dined one my cell mate’s groceries; drank juice, eat cookies even top it up with fags. What a hungry cops.

The one that was caught had his back slashed; the razor-sharp edge of the sawn-off bar ripped the flesh from his back, will need multiple stitches to mend his back. The other two were later caught after the search as we all ordered to take off our shirt on re-entry to our cells. They had fresh cuts on their bodies; that’s all the cops needed as none among us were ready to point them out. They got their men.

When the lazy-ass cops finally sent their report about the foiled and failed escape to the media; they falsified the numbers, instead of Three (Tres en
Español), they lied; giving Six! Bloody liars. Came on the news, that 6 foreign inmates tried to escape but were caught by the ever vigilant cops. Ya right!!!

I, Happened to be the only non-spanish speaking inmate in my cell; a cell like others meant for 6 inmates at a time, but we are 10 in numbers and sometimes it goes up to 12.

So much sentiments, sarcasms and male-gossiping from Men who think they are men; but are actually Pu**y!

Never in my wildest dream had I ever thought there are and would be adults who can’t figure out, how to put in the round peg into the circle hole or the square, triangle or rectangle ones into their respective holes.
But here I am with men who can’t figure that sort of things out; how to staple bowls of different sizes accurately; simple geometry thought us shapes and sizes and as human we could have a 3D perspective of an object, thus should know that the smaller bowls should fit into the big one and the big ones into the bigger ones.

Well, not my cell mates, as I tend to teach them on daily basis; we are 10 grown-ass men in a tiny cell, so #Space is everything. Once the bowls are not properly staple, they come falling around.

I have been able to fit my whole life into my single-bunk bed; despite being taller than the length of the bed, so my feet tends to hang out, but better than sleeping on the cold-bare floor.

Living through each day without exchanging harsh words will be a miracle, but I’m use to it. It could come from my choice of music or my having a nap in the afternoon. I’m used to them and their women-like nagging. But I may not be used to what evil goes on in their mind. That I leave to God to watch over me.

There’s one, whom I short of words to describe him, he’s the oldest in the cell and one of the oldest by age; but he acts like a 2 years, eavesdrops on everyone conversation, repeats every words he hears like a kid learning to speak; can be annoying when I’m talking and he repeats whatever I say. Feel like punching him. I once heard him say, he will never buy anything for anyone to eat but eats whatever one cooks with his eyes. I guess in about every culture in the world; the Dead are to be respected, but not with this fool. He talks rubbish about our departed comrades. Any new inmates, he will be the first to take him through the history of the pavilion and how many deaths he has witnessed and still standing.

I’m praying the good Lord for more patience and that he doesn’t cross my path, we should keep on, on our parallel path. Whenever a new inmates comes to the cell, he set rules and eventually sent them out. Guess karma is paying him back; never went to trials, not until after 3yrs behind bars and still waiting for decision by the judge. Hope he waits forever and since he claims the cell is his, he will remain here will the rest of us are gone for good.

Others live in fear of him, well I don’t know how he got the grip of them. All I owe any man here is an “Hello” except the grocer who credits me stuffs in good fate; do pay him though.

One of the young lad; who lives in a world of confusion, little prick doesn’t know what he wants, he feels more comfortable in numbers and always come back looking rejected as words must have been said that he didn’t like; and he seems to be pugnacious in character. Lately he approached me if we can go on #KFC kind of business; selling fried chicken and fried green plantains, sound nice, but checking the expenses and tha facts that one will be selling them on credit, it doesn’t worth it. And I’m damn broke to invest in any non-profitable venture.

I’m glad, despite my joviality, I do keep my distances from other inmates. I have people I chit-chat with; the unfortunate ones to be here. And others, just an hello will keep them going.

There’s a saying about prison’s life; “your back is constantly on the wall”; it gives you a good view and always on guard. No one stays loose, but some do though; after downing some potent moonshine and snorting dope; seen one chronic alcoholic (he should be sent to anonymous alcoholics) sleeps right under the bed on a bare floor, next day you see him up and about.

Hustling and Hassles

Living through each day is survival, our centre is like a market place, everything trends and sells.

There’s casino royale with all the players seated on a round table (a round flat wood supported by tanks), cards and dice are dealt as they puffs and wine like Mr. Bond;-)

Gambling and gaming is one of the live-wire of the centre, while the state is running her lottery, we are also running ours; whatever number wins, whoever bought that number also win in here. Anything can go in for the lottery, inmates hawking medication (walking pharmacy; can’t depend on the clinic).

But above all; FOOD, you can never go wrong with that, we love food. Inmates are busy cooking round the clock. Those who gets visit and those with contacts to bring in food stuffs live larger than others. But we’re all in same sh*t and it’s survival.

At least we do get monthly visit and volunteers visit from our embassy; which is uplifting, there are many whose embassy don’t give a sh*t about their existence. That could be devastating; no one cares, they are on their own. Except the calls and chat with loved ones back home.

Among the mentally retarded inmates is a compatriot of mine, whom I may place in that group. He thinks, he’s god-gifts to women because of his steroid-jerked up body. Talk to him about body-building, he tells you all the hits he’s done and apparently he has enlarged heart; which he argues that, it is not from the long extensive usage of steroids. But from my researches and readings, I have come to believe that there could be a link between both. He and another now-released inmate suffers same ills; enlarged hearts and they are both roid addicts. Put one and one together and you get two!

What annoys me about him; he can’t flippin stay in his cell, always coming to tell me how he wants to have kids with women from different parts of the world; he’s not taking care of them kids, sired the kids and the women are left to look after the kids. What an idiotic dullard, can’t believe a man at his age will be thinking so low. Preys on vulnerable girls and women because of poverty. Once told him, his class of women ain’t mine, didn’t take it lightly with me;-)

Among us are inmates who never got rehabilitation from their government as promised; these lads and men lived all their lives fighting, sleeping with guns and wars; but when they dropped their arms, their government promised them rehabilitation, they didn’t get it, so they took up another path, which has brought many into jails. These lads and men are men of the paramilitary and some hardcore FARC fighters; one handles everything he sees like his piece. His movement is well calculated, in his mind, he still believes, he is in his war. Such and more are what we have to live with; a vicious circle that will never be broken.


They are called smartphones because they can do almost everything and they happened to be multi-tasking; I’m writing and listening to Mozart – Ode to Joy and other classic songs I “illegally” downloaded;-) (apparently, my cell mates don’t fancy my idea of music, they so hate my music, as they can’t drink along with Mozart, Beethoven or Bocelli) (Hahahahahahahahahaha; Dr. Evil’s voice). I’m also tweeting, reading all the headlines and news across the world; it’s 06:09:07 on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 here. so the phone helps keep me going. Thank God for the huge database of the internet; helps with all kind of research and also provide answers to my arguing-inmate pals. And also some wicked recipes for moonshine and health stuffs; kinda my netdoctor.

Many are jumping on the smartphones wagon; but the phones are flippin smarter than they are. One of my preoccupation is helping others sort the messes they make with their phones, internet set-up, download and installing apps. And some wants me to call customer services on their behalf; when the language spoken is Spanish and they are Spanish speakers. The problem is; they call, they flippin won’t know what to ask or even if I get the question across, they won’t be able to do anything with instructions given to them over the phone. They just can figure out such things. But they know how to handle semi’s and 9mm! And crack someone’s head.

My phone is everything; it’s like a pc to me, but to most of my fellow inmates, it’s what and where they indulged in their fantasies; xxx pictures, porn and chats, nothing more. At least it helps the mood and keep us going. Without the phones, life would’ve been very miserable as there’s nothing else to waste one’s time on. Maybe the booze and dope.

It’s Monday morning; the dawn of a new day, new week; we remain soldiers of fortune and hope. Counting my days as they turn into weeks and weeks to Months as I wait for the decisive decision that will make that change forever.


One Response to “PRISON BREAK PANAMA: Escape From La Joya (The Jewel of the Jungle)”

  1. Sound as Cliché but what does not kill you, will certainly make you stronger, plus the experience must be stuffed with intelligence to learn from it and grow. Reading your posts is been a real first hand experience to me. I have learnt a lot from you, and now my “partner” is also learning from You, thanks for the good job you do with him.

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