Panamá: New Generation Of Street Gangs, Groomed By Prison Gangs, The Liquidation Of A Family Of Four And Prisoners Shaking A Nation! 

“People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong.” – Bill Vaughan

WAT IS TIJD? (What is #TIME?)

“Wat is tijd? Meestal merken we iets van de tijd, als er iets verandert of veranderd is. Daarom is tijd vaak zo moeilijk bij te houden als je vastzit en elke dag hetzelfde is als gisteren en vermoedelijk hetzelfde als morgen. “Doing Time” heet vast zitten op zijn Amerikaans. “Tijd (Ver-) doen” Weining verandering meemaken” – Redactioneel van Gezant uit Nederland.

Wed, 17 Sep 2014

Lately, I have been writing less and tweeting more, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping and taking stock of my life and those of my fellow time-doers as we travel through time and vacuum, keeping tab of our timelines behind bars.

Like social media timelines, our lives are in phases and these phases represents our timelines; mistakes done or actions taken could be corrected with time, and some can’t be corrected, just gotta let it go. But the memories of those mistakes and actions can’t be erased from one’s memory, either from those of witnesses to those events. Thus, there aren’t much difference between our real life and the ones we fake online, our avatars or cyber-life; our faux lifestyle. Sometimes, just like the social media timelines, which runs at the speed of sound, that certain things are missed and need to be retrieved so is life, but with life retrieving those moments could be disastrous as some of those moments are unwanted circumstances; painful memories. Thus, certain part or aspect of our timelines are best kept to where they belong in the archives of our memories. Asi es la vida!

Some of us do get permanently deleted from this timelines, when these unfortunate ones meet their demise while doing time, there end their timelines. Even the released are not permanently deleted from out timelines, but simply archived until something spectacular happen with their lives. Thus, even when one has done his time and becomes a free man, his life and activities is still on our timelines; what becomes of him in #PostPrisonLife. Though some choose to go under the radar, that doesn’t stop the most curious amongst us to search through the grid for their timelines 😉

22:35:18 on Wed, 17 Sep 2014!

The prison was thrown into total blackout for hours. Electricity is restored, would’ve been hell tonight, there haven’t been water for days, my cell is dry like the Sahara, and so are many cells. The locals are smiling to their piggy bank with what they are making from selling water to the foreign inmates. Still baffles me that we are in the same prison, but they are more favoured than the rest of us. And not just with water, also with time-reduction, they work, school just like the rest of us, but they get theirs processed faster and are sent home, while foreign inmates are left to be paying those fat ladies in the admin money after money to get their papers processed.

I’m happy, I still workout, washed my gym clothing and also shower; thanks to my reserves that I have called into service. And they are serving me when I really need them most ; #NOW!

Still not on speaking terms with two of my cellmates, taken enough of their idiocies, it’s better we remain this way for now. Better for me as its streamlined the numbers of people I’m talking to, the less, the better and it helps with my sanity.

The day has been a hectic one, but thank goodness, it’s almost over.

Had woken up early to use the loo, but went back to sleep and finally woke up around 9ish after a training partner came calling. These lads don’t know, I sleep late as I spent most night reading or writing and surfing the net. For most of them, the only time they sleep late or stay up late is either their women are ready to stay up with them and give them all their demands xxx picx 😉 or they are either drinking and gambling. Other than those three things, most are in bed or whatsoever they find to lay their heads by 10pm at most. The other all-nighters are the smokers and those whose lives begins when others are getting to switch off their lights for a long night rest. To these ones, the night is their day and the day their night. The walk and work all night and sleep all day. Sometimes one rarely see them during the day; our shemale and his vampire errand boy are only seen in the evening when they have had enough sleep. What a life and one on the nightshift 😉

Back to #MyWednesday; had a brutal complete arm workout; #Biceps #Triceps and added sets of power clean lifts, was freakin excruciating. Worked on my abs with isometric moves; planks and hangings. Felt my whole body burned, I definitely need some good supplements. Rounded up by 1pm when the handballers came in, and lunch came in also; chicken-skin soup with half-cooked rice.

Got some of the soup and some rice as there was nothing in the cell. That was my postworkout meal, was feeling but something better would’ve been much better. Nobody knows when egg will be allowed in, there hasn’t been eggs for almost a month now and eggs was my best source of protein, but they do bring in boiled eggs for breakfast. I don’t really know why they won’t allow eggs in, but guns, knives and drugs are flowing through the gates.

Climbed upstairs to get some of my gallons, but found out they are empty; my mate living upstairs had used up all my reserves and didn’t have them refilled, freaking annoying! To avoid incidents, once I have them refill when water comes, I will be keeping them under our bunk bed.

Used a tank or bucket and half, showered and washed my gym clothes, saved the waste water to be used in the toilet. The water crisis is going on now for more than a week, occasionally rainfall has always been our saviour. But for some days now, there hasn’t been any rain or sign of it.

At war or rather cold war with two of my cellmates; the youngest and the ex wannabe boxer; have always told them, don’t do something because someone else is doing it. Rather, do iit because it comes from your guts to do it; the lad got into boxing because his mates were doing it, and now he barely pick up the gloves I gave him. Well, he has a new sport that needs the uses of both his hand; playing #ClashOfClans, wakes up at 3am to indulge in his new discovery, first, it was #CandyCrushSaga, now he’s switched to this Clans thing. Wish him good luck!

Our cold war will be on for a while until they both learn how to talk and live with people. When problems from the streets spiralled in, everyone should learn to handle and bear his cross alone. Whenever the lads got some uncomfortable news from outside, or their cases not going as their thieving lawyers promised them, they tend to take the anger on somebody else. They should freakin learn how to redirect or channelled such angst into something positive; #Time behind bars has thought me how to unload whatever negativity comes my way, and also how to reload some positive energy into those vacuums in me, thus, no room for negativity.

Went to bed early but got up around 1am when all had gotten in except the young lad sleeping above the toilet; he was outside playing #ClashOfClans, say inside the cell by door and start what will become an all-night for me. Chat with schat and did loads of browsing and tweeting, downloaded loads of articles and saved some pages for further reading. Got enough articles to keep me busy for a while. Finally folded up around 5am on Thursday morning and hit my concrete bed; barely closed me eyes when our PA system came to live, announcing our early morning weekly headcount. Had made up my mind up, there won’t be workout today.

Thurs, 18 Sep 2014

Had barely closed my eyes when the call for our weekly headcount came up on our PA system. Had to rushed and stashed all I needed to. And the lads did same, don’t want the young lad stashing his stuff in my bunk, but what can I do as we all use the stash together.

Rushed through my morning rituals like others did and walked out sluggishly with heavy eyes longing for more sleep. Took a book to read few pages while I wait for the headcount to be over. Outside, few were running, the lazy ones were either sitting and talking like always and others walked in groups of two as they carried on with their chatting; probably talking about the weather forecast, financial markets or politics ;-), if it was sports, I will know, as sports are always talked about or discussed when a game is on or after the game is over ;-), and I doubt if there’s anybody here who will use his precious prison time discussing financial markets, weather or politics or current affairs, maybe Dr. Porter, but then, with whom will he discuss sure intellectual matters with? Does, whatever he knows, he keeps it to himself. I do sometimes pinged him important and breaking news from Canada; especially those of my pal #RobFord the #CrackHeadMayor ;-), lately about the discovery that he has a very rare cancer. Wish him speedy-Gonzalez recovery 😉 , or better put it; Fast and Furious Recovery 😉

Since today’s headcount was an early one, the lads sleeping in the gym hall refused moving their cartons and whatever they have on the floor. Thus, there won’t be any gym and training today. Well, I wasn’t prepared for today’s workout, thus, a plus for me; but I did missed the early morning training I usually do while the cops are busy with the headcounts outside, using the moneky bars behind our building for dips and inverted rows.

Back into my cell and straight to my concrete bed, hope it does make me stronger like the slab of concrete that I sleep on.

Like always, my lazy lousy cellmates will always find something to talk or someone to ridiculed, and the one whose missus has gone with the wind and in the arms of another (like our gayly mate puts it; Another is touching your wife’s ass), and our gayly lad started another round of verbal war; this time around it was on their cases, well, I’d like to listen but my eyes and body wouldn’t as I needed my sleep badly and more than whatever they were arguing about.

How they ended their argument, freakin didn’t know as I was deep asleep, but not deep enough as I hear on the tv of an ongoing search in pavilion 14 of La Joyita prison (our sister prison), the news got me up and had my ears wide open to what was going on there.

Panama’s Police chief stormed the prison complex around 3am and woke the lads from their lousy gangs sleep. He didn’t come alone, he came with all the military might of panama; comprising of Senafront (military guards combing through their porous land and water borders with Colombia), National police (Corrupt lads), Special police (nothing special about them as they are also bought over). He came with enough police to ransacked the pavilion, and that’s what they did; walls, floors, toilets and bathroom were broken to dig out whatever was buried there.

All television stations stopped whatever they were doing to broadcast live, some from air of the ongoing search that brought hundreds of armed forces to the pavilion. And fully dressed for war.

They surely found what they came looking for; knives of different assortments, guns, ammunition, weed, coke, makeshift and crude weapons of prison gangs warfare. I don’t know what the population of that pavilion is, but they did find enough arms to armed inmate in that pavilion. Tells you how cheap a life is once you hauled into one of these pavilions; everyone is armed and waiting for the day he would be able to make good or bad use of his weapon. #MenAtWar

What surprised me most were the types of knives the lads were using. It seems they were all weapon-shopping from one hardware store as most of the knives were of the same design and make. If the cops are wise as they project themselves to be, they could find the source (s) of the knives and who purchased them by tracing them to the hardware store. But such won’t happen in Panama as they are very good with tampering and destroying of evidences. Sometimes, suspect are taken before judges without any evidence but ended being prosecuted and sentenced with the verbal testimony or accounts of the cops. What a judiciary system, guess they are mirroring that of The US.

Seeing the search has caused us to raise our alert level to critical, as we know, the cops won’t stop what they just began, they will make sure they comb through all the pavilions in the centre and those of the foreign inmates will be their target as they believe the foreigners are the pay masters; thus, better things to treasure-hunt 😉

From Intel coming in, so much Intel behind these concrete walls; inmates out of boredom prefer talking irrespective of what they talk. It could be absolutely rubbish and lousy talk, but they just wanna talk. But today’s police action has prompted questions to be asked and finally answers that moves along the right direction are coming in.

Last week, a family was liquidated, just like in the meaning of the word! An innocent (?) family met their end facing the end of a nozzle. How the cops got their info or Intel is best known to them (torture is one way), but they did linked the family saga to another raid in the city where guns and lots of other weapons and ammunition were found. From there, pavilion 14 of La Joyita was pin point as the origin of the massacre.

Another part of the Intel from online sources; the prison gang housed in pavilion 14 nicknamed ‘Baghdad’ after the Iraqi capital, freakin don’t understand picking such an awkward name, they are not Muslims or affiliated to any terror group. They are just bunch of weed and crispy smokers; that I know they can sit all day smoking and finding a way to launch assault or attack an opposing gang from the other pavilions.

From what I read; the Baghdad gang are working the younger street gangs to do their dirty works; steal, kill and do whatsoever criminal gangs do that befits their names. The criminal gang business is like every other business in the sense that, one becomes older and becomes a mentor to younger generation and then groom the younger ones to do gang business. And such is the way of life for these kids; many have the first taste of prison as young as 14 years of age and then, it’s prison after prison, spending many birthdays behind bars with new family that promises stronger bonds and to watch their fragile back.

Like in all businesses, dividends and loyalties must be paid, thus, the Capos and his henchmen do get proceeds for their mentoring from the young lads on the streets; whatever they make from gangs business, portions are sent to their mentors who are living larger-than-life lifestyles behind bars; proper booze, state of the art smartphones and game consoles, flat screen televisions, and paid ladies for conjugal. These lads literally run the prison, what the cops did today is done and is over once they are gone, but the prison will fall back to its normal administration, meaning, being run by the different factions of prison gangs and their foot soldiers. And the coward cops won’t do a shit about it. How many times has inmates been killed right in front of their faces and they do nothing about it? Quite a lot, one was done right in the front of the diretor’s door. Meaning, the director himself is not safe from harm.

Of all the gangs are doing on the streets from the inside, the one that really got the country into rethinking about #GangsCulture is the liquidation and wiping out and into extinction of a family. Orders came from the Baghdad band of bandits to liquidate the family, and that’s what was done. Father, mother, two kids of five and nine years old of age were all slaughtered in their home that is supposed to be a safe haven. Guess our houses are no longer shelter to protect us from the elements, which includes gangs assassins.

The brutal killings of this family is causing a sort of dominoe effect all over the country as the head of police in panama has vowed to root out gangs on the streets and in prisons; well, I’m here and waiting to see how it will happen. Many before him had tried and fail. So, I’m wondering what magical powers does he have that will work now, the harder these lads are hit, the harder and more violent they become. And the softer you wanna get or be with them, then you are taken as a fool and too weak for comfort 😉

Whatever the outcome will be for the charged inmates, it will never act as a deterrent to stop gangs killings; most uses minors as they know, the law in panama treats with a tap on the wrist; for a homicide, a minor can do two to three years in juvenile detention. While the adults are comfortable with prison time as life BehindBars in Panama is more or less an extension or continuation of life from the streets, many are more comfortable and more at home behind bars than on the streets; behind bars, they are housed together with gang members and not mixed with other gangs, thus, safety is guaranteed when in the unit or group. While on the streets, they are exposed and vulnerable to the elements, knowing fully well that even a walk through the park is as dangerous as walking on hot-burning coals.

Armed with all these informations after several raids on the streets, the cops reinforced and paid the lads an impromptu visit around 3am. Striped them to the bare and stormed their pavilion while the inmates were sent outside to get tanned under the grilling sun. The cops worked the pavilion, breaking floors, toilet and bathroom floors to find guns and whatever were buried beneath those cemented floors. On the videos, I can see bags of cements and sand which are kept at hand to resealed the floors after each breaking and usages of their firearms. These lads are damn too crafty, even the cops were surprised at their ingenuity and how they had turned the pavilion into a good stash. Walls and floors had to be broken with sledgehammer to find what they had buried and hidden.

Since the murders of the family was traced to the prison, it’s been very edgy here; every little movement is suspicious. Thus, we are on full alert for any surprise visit from the cops, which will come sooner than we expect.

May the saint of prisoners help us; panama actually celebrate the day of Prisoners  Saint. I’m yet to understand the logic behind that!

Fri, 19 Sept 2014

Woke up to another beautiful day; typically, no day is beautiful in prison, maybe for those with families and friends around to visit them and the few with conjugal visits 😉

But for many of us, we try to beautify the day. One wakes up every day to the same monotonous routines and try to outlived time; which on its own can be tricky.

#TGIF and #Weekend, the gym was closed yesterday and I didn’t train, thus, wouldn’t like to miss today’s training. But hitting the gym a bit late, had wanted to make oatmeal when one my training partners came for my gym box, had to munched two bananas, which I know will fuel me through the workout. Had had a cup of green tea and cinnamon earlier, that will fire my system to handle today’s workout.

Thank the heavens no brawl today, just the slim lad still picking on my gayly mate. But not serious like other days, but the lad always got something in return for him; word for words 😉

Hit the gym, packed and being Friday, the catholic priest might be coming today. Thus, rushed into my routines after few minutes of stretching and warm-ups! Did a combo of Chest and Shoulders; we went #HIIT  #Hardcore and added abs routines in-between each sets, also push-ups and planks to fill in the rest period, freakin exhausting, but we love it and we did it. Rounded up before 1pm as the priest didn’t show up, hope the search incident is not the reason for his not showing up today. So many changes will be in place to curb the violence within the complex. Hope the portals for our smuggled stuffs won’t be shut down; if they do it, it will be disastrous as those food items we can’t get here won’t be coming in anymore. Things like proper meat, chicken, vegetables, oatmeal and other boxed cereals, my spices and other stuffs. Well, and for those arming themselves for the ongoing gang wars, they will be hitting the gym to learn how to fight bare knuckles like real men; mano-a-mano 😉

Done with workout and exhausted, back in, no water, occasional rainfall have been very helpful as we now depend on it for our daily survival.  Made myself a chilled cup of gatorade, had another banana. The lunch cart came in right on time; chicken skin soup and white rice, took some as I was starving. Then, showered, was able to washed my gym clothing and kept both the laundry water and what I showered with to be used in the toilet; think, they call that recycling, but we call it improvisation 😉 . That will be till Monday when I’m back to training.

Cooked OX or cow’s feet soup which we had with white rice, everyone had enough and saved some for saturday, that will be my bloody brunch.

Spent the night on the passage in front of my cell, even at night, the pavilion is busy and alive with activities of nocturnal nature 😉 things that are better done at night, hidden from those who aren’t part and parcel of the nocturnal movement.

Sat, 20 Sep 2014

No general cleaning as there isn’t much water, we are living on the edge, thus, everything is under strict management. Took me almost two weeks to get mine done, and it was on a Monday instead of the usual saturday.

Got up and use the loo, and had a breakfast or almost brunch of the OX feet soup and rice; leftover from yesterday’s, hate wasting food, most of my cellmates don’t think that way. Hung around for a while with a cuppa green tea/ cinnamon tea, nothing interesting, back to bed for another round of power nap.

Finally up around 1pm, enough sleep and feel rejuvenated for the day. I guess the rest of the pavilion are up and about the day’s affairs.

Ice doesn’t come in on Saturday, it’s a rest day for the lads who runs our errands; #CellDelivery, order things directly from them if you don’t want to buy from the grocers in the pavilion as it’s a bit cheaper with them than the grocers. Business in the centre is like ones on the streets; the higher you get in the chain or sources of products or services, the cheaper you get your goods and services.

The main shop under the admin block sells to the errand lads who sent from each pavilion to do their purchase daily. The errands lads charge certain percentage on every item, they get to fix their own prices, which is higher than the main store’s, then the grocers also order from them and fix their prices, but inmates can order from the errand lads, thus, bypassing the grocers. And the lucky ones who are fortunate to go up the admin block and with cash, can buy their stuffs directly at the original cost, thus, bypassing both the errand lads and the grocers in the pavilion and saving a lot of money. And could be a lot of savings as I have done it many times, each time I go upstairs, I always go with money; my seasonings are sold here between $10 and $12 but upstairs, I get them directly between $6 and $8, that’s how these lads are ripping us. When the errand lads sees me around there, they aren’t happy.

It’s saturday and it’s las fiestas in the pavilion, a walk around the passages, one will see many watering holes, where groups of newbies are initiated into the cult of life BehindBars and oldies sharing their survival stories.

On television and in Panama, the heat is on, and damn hot on the massive search that was carried on in pavilion 14 in La Joyita for the mastermind behind the liquidation of a family of four. Two inmates have charged and sequestered from the rest of the Baghdad gang, they are kept in maximum security as investigation continues. These boys are used to being locked up, thus, they know they are bgging years upon years, but they will be out some day if the family of the deceased don’t come after them.

Another stabbing, but this time in our own part of the prison; a new local was hauled in, and on his first day, well, maybe not his first time in jail. But on his first day this time, he was plunged with zigzag blade which pulls out all his entrails, and later pronounced dead on the way to hospital.

As soon as we heard of the stabbing, we braced up for a total lock down and maybe a search, but nothing happened and I hope nothing will happen.

Life is nothing to these lads, the lad survived the harsh transitional jail and made it in, but got killed upon arrival, yet to be charged or tried. He received jungle justice and instant judgement probably from old scores or being on the wrong side of town ; #GangWars!

Many foreigners try rubbing minds with the locals, as they are the sources of all businesses in the system, once in a while we get direct contact with cops or wardens, but for proper illegal trade, one has to hook up with a local. Whom, many have come to find out they are not trustworthy fellows for business as they always make away with their money. But still, it doesn’t deterred many from seeking contacts with and doing business with them.

I have one who has been nicking lemongrass from another inmate’s vegetable garden and sell to us, same lad and his mates also nicks vegetables and grains from the kitchen and sell amongst us; the foreigners. It’s all business, can’t beat them, friggin join them, but be very cautious of them.

No workout for me today as it’s my rest day, so also sunday. Spent the day in the cell and most time in the comfort of my bed, either reading, browsing and occasionally naps in-between 😉

The fiestas are taking a full spring, my gayly mate has disappeared from our radars, he’s somewhere sipping and lamenting over his little life.

As of midnight, lad still wasn’t in the cell, so long he’s having his good time, good for him!

Sun, 21 Sep 2014

A drizzle through the night gave us some water, we are living on the frontline or on the edge; we’ve been able to survive the brutal period of our water scarcity, I know we will pull through this one again. Managed to refilled all my reserves, those will stay in their hidden places till they are needed in service again 😉

Start my day with my usual cup of green tea after my rituals. Sat on the edge of my bed facing the toilet as that’s the best position on my bed as the rest went about their day’s activities and their morning chattering.

Like always, the talk is centred on our gayly mate whose hammock stinks of human foul odour, the sheets he uses to cover himself is unwashed and stinks. Friggin still got me wondering, what sort of dirt lay is he? Who will want to lay him or prop his mojo in his mouth as the lad is damn too dirty for my liking. He stacks food upon food for days without eating them, and then someone opens them, the cell is blown off with stench of rotten food. I have talked to him several times, always take enough for the moment or what you can eat. There’s no refrigerator to store food, the heat of the pavilion destroys it as soon as they are kept overnight. Just a bad habit that he has and I guess he will be a lousy dirty lay 😉

It’s amazing and also disturbing how some of these lads could go on drinking sprees for days on, knowing fully well where we are. My gayly mate’s pal who started yesterday are still on the bender; music very loud and occasional screams of enjoyment. Whatever they seem to enjoy here is another disturbing issue, soon I will be five years in the joint, fucking don’t see anything worth enjoying here. What keeps my happy and strong is the strength of my family back home; they are ok, I’m good to go, but once schat is down, I’m friggin down as well.

The lads helped our gayly mate set out his vegetable business as he’s still having hangover, but surprisingly, he will be out again to continue from where he stopped last night; that I know for sure!

When he finally woke up from his hangover, he’s in and out of the cell, hanging around several watering holes and those who enjoys his wits and his lamentation.

Being a sunday, my day like most days will be in and around my cell, the most venturing I make is to get ice, can’t do without it; bloody hot.

There hasn’t been eggs in the pavilion for over a month now, nobody knows what is happening. Though, some are making special orders, which I know will be at cutthroat prices. I know it will come soon, as somebody upstairs gotta make profit from it.

The day went on a snail pace, but got myself busy with my music, books and internet.

As evening sets in, the parties took a different turn. Quite a few newbies around, hope they are loving it in here. Some of them may not be new to life behind bars, but being in a different country is a different ball game altogether. But, having someone who knows someone and received them, they are in cloud nine, and straight to the bottle, what else can a man in this condition ask for when you know you aren’t going nowhere in a very long while?

Stayed up late as I had many articles to read and tweet them. My gayly mate came in around midnight with a very dirty face; when the lad is pissed, doesn’t look nice; with scar on his face and mouth missing couple of teeth, doesn’t look nice. But, then someone wouldn’t mind getting a blow job from him. And that’s what the little lad in our cell did the night they all got pissed after days on the bender. Both got into his bed, which is under mine and the pharmacist-cellmate saw them getting cozy, then came the brawl when the gayly lad told the young lad to do him as well, the young lad got mad and pushed him out of his bed. Lad don’t like returning favours 😉

My gayly cellmate came lamenting of his woes and all that had befallen him, how his sister back in Colombia had sent tickets for him to visit home on three occasions and he turned them down. He’s been away from home for more than thirty years. Had always thought him to be younger than me, until he mentioned his age once during their morning brawls; nobody should talk to him like a kid, that he’s forty five years of age. I was bloody surprise, as he’s not acting like his age, but, more like a teenager experimenting on a new concoction of drugs 😉 and he also has a bullet lodge in his foot which is giving him one hell of pain. And the system won’t do a thing to take it out, hope it doesn’t destroy his leg as it’s swollen now and he finds it hard to walk properly.

Under the influence of alcohol, he talked to me, telling me his life and with tears in his eyes. He just can’t help himself, someone gotta help him out. The pastors were here preaching to him, until he picked up verbal brawl with them over conflicting ideas; told them, they are all liars, carrying bible to get time reduction, once on release, they are all going back to their former self, how I love that blunt message to them and it came from one of their own, who knows them too well 😉

Sent him to his hammock, but he didn’t go as he went out to get final dose of his liquor and also snort a line as I later heard from some lads.

As soon as he left, I closed my curtains and slide into my little world and wait for nature to come take me, but then, had my eyes and ears wide open for any suspicious movement or sound.

Mon, 22 Sep 2014

Up and about, through my morning rituals and ready to hit the weights, will be a bit late as I woke up late. Had oatmeal for breakfast and downed it with a cup of green tea.

The cell is set for our gayly mate who is out and about, in the pavilion, there’s no difference between week days and weekends for those drinking. To these ones, it’s strictly a forced holiday on them and they are making use of the best of whatever available to stay high while doing time. And my gayly mate is enjoying himself, he’s a nice lad when he wants to be, but just his dirty habit that I don’t really like, sort of disgusting. The cell is so small, and eleven people in place of six can be really tight; I’m forced to sit on my bed which is the upper bunk most of the time when others are in the cell. Two are living upstairs, one has a shack build and the other is building something, but smaller as there’s no space up on top of the cell.

Since my gayly mate took over the vegetable business, he’s been dropping bit of his produce for us to use; mostly those about getting spoiled due to the heat in the pavilion ‘every little helps’ and every bit of the vegetables does help and save me a lot of money as I’m the only who uses them, the others are not vegetable eaters, the most they do is onion.

Soon, the drinking sessions will end and all will get back to #PlanetPrison, where everything is real and true.

Made it to the gym, being Monday, most are hitting chest and some are doing same routines of what they do every day and not willing to learn or change. Sometimes it’s better to leave someone to whatever he wants to do.

One of my training mates took the gym thing too far, the lad has got proper herniated disc, one can see the bulge on his back. I have a lower back problem for years and it could be with the disc as it affects my sciatica nerve, sending blinding pains to my two legs and sometimes I feel numbness on my feet. But I have learn to live and do all I have to with it. I have stopped certain exercises and find alternatives to work those muscle groups. Thus, avoiding much strain on my lower back, can’t take any blody risk as I know the medical situation in the prison.

The lad is totally written off, can’t do anything in the gym, he would be taken to the unstaffed clinic,hopefully there will be someone who will likely refer him to the main hospital in the city and hope the cops will take him as he really need urgent attention.

Hit the weights but went for back and biceps, had some lads joined me and we had a good ass workout, went for #HIIT #Hardcore with little rest in-between sets, use the pause for abs. Felt good accomplishing today’s task. Done just about when lunch came in; not my stuff, pig feet and beans, went for the shredded carrots them came in a different bowl and ate the beans I had from sunday’s evening; had warmed it in the morning.

Showered and washed my gym clothing, enough water for the day’s use, rain and the early morning tap water gave us enough for today.

Tried napping, guess, less than an hour as the lads left their gaming spot upstairs to take their lunch or whatever meal they were having. #ClashOfClans has gotten many hooked up like what coke does to addicts. They spent hours upon hours launching attacks ;-), my boxer-cellmate has dumped his boxing gloves to use his fingers for gaming, lad wakes by 3am to engage in online battles with his mates. That’s another thing that boredom does to men, others engages in whatever will take their minds off the mmental suffering that comes with lockup.

Nothing to do, but loads to keep me busy and while away time; browsing, reading both online and real books. eBooks can’t replaced the fill of real books, but in place like this where one is short of space, anything digital is very handy and useful. Thus, my massive digital library, which I do my best to backup and safeguard. If I lose it, will be real devastated, hope it survives as I also fight for my survival.

Tue, 23 Sep 2014

Twitter: @Doingtimeabroad

Wed, 24 Sep 2014

Twitter: @Doingtimeabroad

Thurs, 25 Sep 2014

Twitter: @Doingtimeabroad

Not much of a difference from other days, but each day comes with its own surprises and troubles. Always wake up with enthusiasm and a positive attitude for each day; irrespective of what happens in the cell in the morning, once I walk out to the gym and get some dose of Dopamine and Endorphins, I’m good to go 😉

Fri, 26 Sep 2014

#TGIF and #Weekend; up and through my morning rituals, not forgetting my cup of green tea and cinnamon, enough to wake up my system and get it prepare for the day.

Lately, water hasn’t been our number one worries as the rain has been pouring on and off, and the nicked water from pavilion 8 been working on and off also. If there’s none all day, we hope for the next day, but, doesn’t stop me from keeping my reserves all filled and ready to be call into action when needed or when it becomes dire 😉

Hit the gym, guess, some are beginning their weekend bit too early or continuing with the rest after yesterday’s headcount. The gym was scanty, just a handful of the regulars. Have noticed that some lads has stopped training after their training partners left; they were in the gym out of peer pressure, and because the freed lads were coming, now that they are freed, nothing to motivate or push them out of their cubicles.

I always tell my training mates, ‘before embarking on anything, have a goal and set that goal before you, and let it be your motivator’, and many are sticking to my routines, days they don’t see me, they come calling and their enthusiasm also help me. There are days, I don’t have it, but their calling me loud from the passage spurs me into action. Glad I picked them into my group; many had come and left, but the few that stayed back are seeing results despite our poor nutrition.

Went for #Chest; but giving it a full metal jacket badass #HIIT #Hardcore workout. We started with dumbbells on inclined and declined, also did pull-over and flyes. And went on to the bench for proper benchpress (bar and dumbbells), flyes and close! During each pauses we added rope-jump, hanging leg raise or planks and even push-ups. We literally took ourselves to the limit. Had my shaker cup fill with chilled gatorade and refilled when needed for the lads, we also had banana each. We rounded up with more abs. Excruciating but we all knew those hours aren’t wasted. Advised them to take a rest till Monday (though some will be having visits).

In the cell, the lads cooked their usual fried or oil-soaked rice, quickly took from the top as the oil is settled on the bottom of the pot and before they mix up everything. Ate the rice with peanut butter; they consider my eating habit very weird, never seen anybody eating rice with peanut butter. Sometimes, I make peanut butter sauce, Yummy;-)

We had visitors, as government and church officials came to inspect the pavilion; one of their gimmicks to fool inmates that they are up to something good. Glad they came in and saw the misery and desolation they call prison. Still, some are jealous, a warden once told me that I’m doing well as my embassy brings me stuffs, would have punch him and ask him to trade place, and I will be sending him things, friggin prick 😉

Tried napping, then came the breaking news; another #PrisonGangs war in one the notorious prison in Colon, Panama; #NeuvaEsperanza meaning #NewHope. Panama has got a crazy way of naming prisons; there’s #ElRenacer (Rebirth), #LaJoya (The Jewel), #LaJoyita (little Jewel), but from all I have seen, heard and read about all these prisons, there’s nothing about them that bring anything close to their names, instead it’s the opposite. Once hauled and slammed in, there’s barely any hope of you making it out alive; if you don’t get killed by gangs war, cross fires, or personal brawls or someone else’s brawl, then sickness will! Its takes a strong willpower and an adaptive  mindset to survive life on the inside..

Nueva Esperanza in colon is newly built prison, but from videos and stills we have seen, it’s no difference from ours #LaJoya, inmates has destroyed and set fire to most parts of the building.   Gangs run both inside and outside the prison, inmates sleep with guns, machete and all sorts of crude weapons; nothing different from the locals here and some inmates in my pavilion. Many can only sleep with their weapons under their pillows or handy. Remembered a lad who sometimes carries his around.

I believe all of Panama was frozen when the video was air on #Telemetro of inmates on rooftop in the colon prison, armed with pistols and rifles shooting at their rivals or warring gangs, it was like a scene from a movie. Later heard, there was fatalities, but the government will do it can to shut the media from reporting about it as it will portray a bad image for Panama’s tourism #MoneyMaker.

Police in riot gears were drafted in, but as always nothing will be found and nobody will be prosecuted; the lads are friggin incarcerated, what more can be done to them. The guns and other weapons will return to their stashes, which no cop will be able to find.

There was accusations, the cops are accusing wardens for smuggling in guns and other banned items to inmates, it’s the case of ‘pot calling kettle black’. Wardens are searched on entry into the prison complex, even within the complex, they are search when they are sent to pick and return an inmates to their pavilions during lawyers, consul or other visits. But cops on the other hand are never search, they are the law! Now, who’s bringing in the banned items to inmates? #FoodForThought!

The government is confused as they don’t know what to do, the president was on television, unprepared when a journalist asked him about the incident; the newly elected president said, all the heads of prison gangs will be taken out and relocated; then more bloodshed as battle rages for the next leader, that position won’t be vacant, somebody with more blood in his hands and a heart of stone have to step into the empty shoes or flipflop as shoes are rare here; maybe trainers 😉

Knifing, shooting, poisoning, and killing of all sort and styles won’t end so long as the system is corrupt; think of a virus in a computer system, if it’s not wiped out, nothing works, the virus still remain active, wrecking havoc. That’s how the prison system work! Panama

After the televised shootings, everyone that matters in the government and country now have something to say and the cops who wouldn’t accept any blame of smuggling in weapons to inmates were very quick to blame the wardens; forgetting that, they search every warden before they are allowed in, but nobody searches the cops.

The president was not left out; he promised iron fist, but before hammering that iron, he should look back how iron fist backfired in Honduras, Brasil, Mexico, and Venezuela, when inmates stood against corrupt systems. History will tell us,n those incidents didn’t end well for both sides.

With this latest incident and what happened in pavilion 14, our alert level is raised to its highest; Blood or Fire Red, we are waiting and anticipating being stormed any moment from now.

Sat, 27 Sep 2014

As we woke up to a new day, and in my cell to the lads cleaning and washing the cell, I did mine last week. Nobody woke us up, but the inmates at colonn prison that acted a new wild wild west flick yesterday were woken from their lazy sleep by a military force of more than 1500 Cops, comprising of Panama’s elite forces; drawn from all their arms of military. The lads were bundled out, tied while the cops went in, breaking and searching every nook and cranny of the massive structure which is barely 7 years old and look like it’s been there for century. Walls, floors and everything cement and of stone were broken as cops came out with loads of prohibited items.

When the search was done, 25 guns were found (but the rifle that we saw on television was not found as it was not on display), an Uzi, Glock, revolvers, bullets and even dumdum bullets (to cause maximum and sever damage on its target), phones (mostly blackberry, few samsung and iphone), more cheap phones for making calls. They also found the common weapon of choice; knives of different designs and severity, some will make Rambo scream out from the jungle. In another corner of the display were machetes and crude weapons made from widely available metals and woods made into clubs, baseball bats were another choice of weapons that were found in large number; doubts if they were used for the game that they were made for, a better use would have been battering a rival’s head as we have seen here and in other pavilion. My mate has one laying beside his bed, just right by his head; he has his reason for keeping it handy, evil that men do crept up behind them gradually and will eventually catch up on them.

The president kept his words, as the cops were busy, heads of the gangs in the prison were hauled into buses enroute #MegaJoya; the new prison built by the former president Martinelli, but failed to complete it, even after he inaugurated and open it. Those that were taken there, were later brought here as nothing was working there. But whatever the condition is now over there, the capos of those gangs will live with whatever they find. I bet the first thing they will do, will be to make stashes and find weapons; these lads can’t live without being armed, as they can’t fight fist to fist fight, friggin wankers 😉

The lads has given the television stations something better to show, it will be #NuevaEsperanza (New Hope) all day; got me wondering what hope they had for those lads and for the rest of us.

Over here, we are waiting and ready, well, after our last mutiny against the cops who used tear gas on us, I think we have become a good game for them. Thus, our day is coming and it will surely come.

For now, we enjoy our movies; watching as cops storms the locals 😉

My gayly cellmate is still on the bender; drinking, and crying. He came lamenting to me about his misery, forgetting that, we are all in the same sinking boat. Who will I share my heavy heart with? His comes after downing our potent and lethal liquor and snorting lines of el blanco, he’s selling vegetables, but from what I hear from the others, he uses his profit to fuel his habits; for drinks, he gets that free, but not coke, a wrap is sold for $5 and he does it every other day or daily. Wish him well and hope he redeems himself!

Mon, 29 Sept 2014

Lately we sleep with our ears wide open; knowing what’s going on. We normally wake on our own accord, but since the latest clampdown on prisoners in panama, we know sooner or later some groups of mean looking fellas will come and wake us up from our cherished sleep 😉

After the verbal brawl last Thursday with one of the early gym rats, I’ve decided to let them finish with their workouts before I hit the gym.

The new American lad who spent a year with the locals trying to be moved here, seems to be enjoying my group; he’s an old dog in the gym, thus, he loves my mode of training. The other lad, seems to take everything as competition, a compatriot of his who trained with me before did it and ended up with serious herniated disc, which the doctors told him, he will be operated and after operation, he will sent back to the pavilion on the same day. Why not just kill him direct!

Same sh!t happened to El Gringo, spent weeks in hospital for tuberculosis, and sent back to the population, but from what we are seeing, it’s like the lad is still sick; doesn’t sleep at night as he cough and wheezes. Hope and pray the others in his cell are not at risk of being infected.

The gym was busy, despite being our fortnightly visit day, thus, I decided we hit Back and biceps. Now, five in my group, more pause time, but to fill in the breaks, I set up other bodyweight exercises to fill up the waiting gaps; which was friggin superb. Rounded up with abs and stretches.

In the cell, the lads were back from visit, two of my mates went out and back with enough food to take us through couple of days; just meats, and all fried dried. Fried dried meats are the only things they bring in that are of great value; the rest are things we occasionally get here, though at a higher price. One had fried fishes, which he cooked and we had it with white rice. The meats should take us through three or four days, then we are back to buying whatever comes around.

Ate and showered; enough water both from the system and from rainfall.

Tried napping but the new old lad woke me up with the stench of his sh!t, not just me, he sent everyone in the cell outside; #WTF did this old lad eat? Stinks like he ate a rotten rat, something is definitely wrong with his system, maybe I should introduce him to green tea and tea as whole. He feast on the bread that comes on breakfast and rice from the lunch and dinner cart. Who knows, maybe he has an underlying sickness, which we don’t know. Wrong place as there’s no hope here, it’s all and solo self-medication.

Tue, 30th Sept 2014

Another early day, rushed me a cuppa of green tea before the others woke up. Sat on my bed sipping my tea as the day unfolds its mystery to us.

The lads went through their morning rituals and the one cleaning did his job, finally got down, had a peanut butter sandwich with the last of my tea.

Made it to the gym with the lads, and we started on shoulders and triceps, as we couldn’t find anything for chest. The lads decided to get into talking, I set up what we are doing for the day, and went about mine. Glad I did reasonable amount of different exercises before the list came that my consul is wwaiting for us.

Had to stop and get in for a quick shower, when I was done and out, my compatriots were all gone. Had to tipped a warden with a can of coke to take me upstairs. Joined the others to hear the #NoNews message from #DenHaag; our government back in Nederland is yet to sign the new pact regarding our repatriation with panama, meaning, we are back to nowhere! Back to waiting!

Brings all moods down, but there’s always reason to smile; the inner peace of mind that comes from being alive and kicking, giving and getting love in return.

Got my stuffs and left as I was starving, needed to eat something. Cheered myself as I know there’s hope.

The pavilion were on alert , waiting to buy whatever we have brought in for sale, can’t sell none of my toiletries and end up buying expensive ones here. Well, some of my compatriots do sell theirs; penny wise, pounds foolish!

Ate and took a quick nap, as I know, I will be up later tonight to get online.

Spent the rest of the day in my cell, which is what I do every blessed day!

During the night, stepped outside to the front of the cell, and it seems our queen of the night has found a new friend in the cell next to mine as she is always sitting outside with some of the lads each night. Hope they are not helping themselves to her kind nightly servive 😉

War on prison gangs continue, as the government vows to crackdown all gangs and make sure the prison is clean and safe; not the first time we heard that. We will be waiting to see how they will achieve and reach that end, not when corruption like cancer has eaten deep into the system.

Many factors makes the dream of cleansing and changing the system look like a child’s place and a  unrealistic goal.

Cops and wardens must be well paid and taken care of by the government or else inmates will help take care of them but for a price; one hand washes the other for the good of the system 😉

Thus, the old has become new and life goes on!

“We cannot reach any higher, if we cannot deal with ordinary love.” – #U2 #OrdinaryLove

“Maturity has to do with the experiences you’ve had, not how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.”


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