The Prison Experience – The Never-Ending Uncertainties. ย 

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on June 25, 2015 by doingtimeabroad

Man without freedom and dignity is nothing. Freedom to be occurs when man is free to express himself, openly and completely on the polarities of anger-love and strength-weakness. It is a process of dynamic being in the here-and-now in which realities and goals are constantly changing. Only a person who is tuned to constant change and growth is actualising or is free. Otherwise, he is tied to the rigid patterns of the past or to the inflexible goals of the future.

Life is a vast, uncharted territory through which we must break trail, backing and detouring at times, moving forward purposefully when we find a clear passage.

Hardship, pain and frustration are essential qualities of human life. In our search for personal maturation, pain is the very condition of growth. We must learn to enjoy the discomfort of striving.

We can grow from each valley of worry, inability, fear, hurt, pain, or frustration — provided that we are willing ‘to go through them’. #PrisonExperience #SurvivingPrison #mindsetofaprisoner.

The above excerpts from “Beyond Man, the Manipulator Toward – #FreedomToBe” by Everett Shostrom, Ph.D.

It’s fine to celebrate success but it’s more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Je kunt het verleden niet veranderen, maar je kunt het vandaag wel beter doen. #GevangenisErvaring

It’s been a very long time I publish a blog, since my signal dropped and have to depend on others to use their modems, I’m more into twitter ๐Ÿ˜‰

Doesn’t stop me from keeping track of our lives as we journey through time and overcrowded space within the high concrete walls of this building.

The process is a long and cruelly one, each day comes with its own surprises. One must be fully prepared for whatever is thrown at him. The ability to adapt and adopt to the prison life is one quality or criteria for survival.

Monday, ย 22 Jun. 2015

22:12:40

Latest Developments on news of prisoners transfer to the new prison; mega joya! #Panama

Earlier today, Mexicans inmates who had consular visit, were upstairs and had a face to face meeting with the director of La Joya prison on the impending transfer to the new prison.

According to the director, the pavilion will be emptied by august. Thus, the move will affect everyone of us.

When asked if the prison system will be providing the basic toiletries; toiltet papers, bathing and washing soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, as we the foreign inmates do not get visit like the locals do and happened to have their families bring them all those things. ย The. Director responded with a capital ‘NO’, such question should be directed to the director of prisons and corrections in Panama, Mr. Pinzon.

When told that, many of the elderly prisoners are diabetics and need special diets and medications, and if the prison will provide them with their diets, the director also responded with another ‘NO’ – according to him, the embassies should take care of their citizens as they “Panama” take care of theirs “Prison logic” from a supposedly director of prison. Where do they pick these men to run prisons?

When the lads asked him about education and work for foreign inmates as the locals also gets the benefits of both for time reduction; our supposedly ‘hardcore’ director replied – the prison has no facilities to rehabilitated foreign prisoners, well, wouldn’t blame him on that, as they can’t even rehabilitate their own citizens and even the cops are yet to be rehabilitated and be true cops ๐Ÿ˜‰ ‘something never gonna change’ – if there’s rehabilitation, then no crime and nobody profit, meaning somebody wants this vicious circle to continue. #PrisonBiz #PrisonIndustrialComplex #RepeatedOffenders #MassIncarceration

Moreover, the director added that there would be mix up with the locals, not like we are, separated from the locals. I don’t think, that’s a good idea, but then, that’s when the real #prisonexperience begins, as we (foreigners) will literally be walking, sleeping with knives, it’s a call to arm oneself and #BePrepared for the expected and unexpected #PrisonViolence.

The lousy goon added, there won’t be patio or yard, no gym. Facility (there wasn’t any here, but we improvised and built one ourselves). ย There is no electricity in the cells, just a light bulb that is centrally controlled; not outlet to plug reading lamp, fan, radio or whatsoever. No electric appliances allowed, well, if there’s no outlet to plug them, of what use having them. That got me wondering what’s the purpose of spending so much money to build such a massive city that’s bound to fail; thinking of the massive endemic corruption ๐Ÿ˜‰

He also said, books won’t be allowed, and there won’t be school for foreigners, that we are meant to do our time and go home; won’t be surprise about that, as it’s what is done to the locals, do time and go home, then come back to do more time, go home and then back, just like that….it continues till that one is taken out through violence which is also a thriving business in panama.

21:10:03 Tues 23 jun. 2015

It seems the government are working round the clock to make sure La Joya and La Joyita will be empty before August. Two lads with residency in panama and with short time left on their sentences were moved to the new prison on Sunday; both are working, one was the pavilion’s technician and the other works in the kitchen. Both are due to be release within few months from now.

According to the lad who works in the kitchen, he was slammed in a cell with eleven other inmates, no fan, little window with little or no ventilation, it’s like inferno in there; and that’s supposed to be the most outspoken project of the former self-exiled president, Mr. Ricardo Martinelli (a white elephant project)! He and his goons profited from building of the penal city. Now, the new president, JC Varela, wants to make his own bucks by building an island prison; everyone comes with his own solution to the cancerous problems in panama. Instead of a simple solution of maintenance and making good use of the what they already have; end mass incarceration, proper rehabilitation process, reduce remand time in custody, as most accused end up waiting 2-3 years for lousy investigation and before they are arraigned before a judge. If they could work on this, it would make a change.

The two lads who were moved on sunday weren’t allowed to take anything electrical with them, not even their fans, well, even if they took them, how would they get them to work as there aren’t any socket to plug them in. All the cells are plain, unpainted with central lighting system; well, that’s the first thing that will be broken.

The tension doesn’t stop me from doing what I have to do to keep my day busy; my daily workouts, reading and surfing, though signal is poor and weak, seems to be stronger at night, likely, I might stay up tonight to publish this long-due blog.

The heatwave still grilling and baking us, and at the same time, new inmates are hauled in to meet their fate and worst nightmares; loads were dumped here on Friday and few were hauled in today, tired of keeping track of numbers, but just saw three new faces walked by with bin bags in their hands. I wish them luck as they begin the adaptation process; for the ‘Real Newbies’, and the old schools or repeated offenders, pick up from where they stopped and also learn our unwritten laws and adapt to them.

The grocery stores in the pavilion aren’t stocking up as they used to, others businesses aren’t booming as they use, well, joints and coke still selling, so also booze and #Moonshine; despite the fear of uncertainties, many are still feasting when they have to ๐Ÿ˜‰

Many inmates would love to sell their televisions, fans or whatever they can, but nobody is willing to buy anything now. My only fear, my books, don’t know what I will do with them as I heard, we won’t be allowed to take anything with us. I hope there will be a way.

Earlier today, our ex presidente was released, lad voluntarily stepped down months ago, thinking he was going home then, only to found out, there were errors in his documents; clumsy human errors, had to do extra months. Glad he’s finally gone after years behind bars ๐Ÿ˜‰

The gym was scanty today, it’s either they had too much of visit foods yesterday and couldn’t get up for the day’s workout or the heat is driving them off. Few went outside to walk or jogged, glad the cops are a bit cooperative; leaving the door half opened for us, so anyone can go outside for fresh air, that’s something we won’t be getting at the new prison.

Had a good chest workout, took it to #HIIT #Hardcore ;-), few lads joined me, didn’t allowed them to spoil my program. Rounded up with cardio routines.

Back in, the lads cooked chicken, had to guide my pharmacist-cellmate through the cooking process as the lad doesn’t know how to cook ;-), he’s amongst many who buys cooked food from different kitchens in the pavilion ;-). I rather cook my food, as I know what I’m cooking and what I want to eat; healthier and cleaner ๐Ÿ˜‰

From my old Canadian mate, who has been incarcerated almost same years as I, seems good news is coming his way. I have written a lengthy letter/email to the vice minister of government in panama; as a law student in Harvard, she did an extensive study of abuses of human rights during Martinelli’s administration, and now she is government, there hasn’t been any changes from all she wrote about.

In my email/letter, which the Canadian embassy presented to her, I made mention of all her works; glad, I was able to find them online, copied and saved the articles and also copied her the links. I hope she will use her office and start working on finding a solution to our problems. #prisonersdillema

Despite the tension of the impending move, it’s relatively quiet, but something sinister is about to happen if these move happen and thousands of inmates are dumped in cells hot as oven, then Panama should be expecting one massive #PrisonRiot #PrisonViolence. It will be one of a kind; a local pal of mine says, they are planning a massive protest if they are moved there without fans.

I hope signal will be strong enough to get this publish. Staying up tonight!

#FathersDay2015 was wonderful as my kids sent powerful and uplifting ย messages cheering and lifting up my spirit. It was all I needed to keep me going. Schat, has been all and all, staying stronger and doing the right thing for herself and the kids. She taken into fitness, as I’m guiding her through her daily exercises, and she is loving it.

Others in the pavilion, enjoyed themselves in their own ways; all through the #FathersDay weekend was puro fiestas in the pavilions. Loads of #Moonshine, our prison distilled liquor, proper liquor from the streets and enough joints and whites to keep the lads functioning. Everything went on pretty well, more of an organised chaos, without any incident.

And it all ended on Monday, which was family visit; kids are allowed on such visit. Those that went out, were able to spend short, but quality time with their children, and other family members. In my cell, only my pharmacist-cellmate went out, the grocer and the boxer didn’t. Guess, reasons best known to them; one thing I’ve learnt here, don’t ask or want to know what ain’t your friggin business. You live longer if you adhere to that basic rule ๐Ÿ˜‰ ‘Mind your own business, and mind your language’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, heard that the snake-of-a-compatriot who was repatriated to Nederland is now freed, lad is a pure wanker of the lowest order; we all fought for changes to the treaty, it worked and his application was approved, he kept it to himself, even on the day he was living, he lied through his rotten teeth, that he’s going to clinic; lucky, clould have gotten one of the locals to mark him for a fiver ๐Ÿ˜‰ #JustSaying! But was bad of him to have kept us in the dark. Well, such is life and he’s a repeated offender. I’d placed a wager with a mate that, he won’t last long on the street before returning to the joint, it’s friggin in his blood. we always have our news source; the Google of the underworld, someone knows someone ๐Ÿ˜‰

Talking of knowing someone ;-), Prison happens to be a place were some men will reinvent themselves; build a new profile for themselves, until someone who knows them or knows someone who knows them walks in and then begins the discomfort as their house of cards would come stumbling down in a thousand pieces ๐Ÿ˜‰

An old Canadian inmate (not my intelligent old pal), but one who professes to be ‘Jack of all trades’, well, of all crimes met his karma when a proper Canadian who knew and still knows people that matters in the underworld of Canada was hauled in. In desperation, the old guy planned to have the new lad kicked out, but it failed as nobody is interested in his stories. The lad told it all out about the old geezer, he had truly reinvented himself here; ‘In the kingdom of the blinds, the one-eye man is the king’, in his case, the one-legged man is the king!

After the lad gave him bits of his hidden history, he now keeps himself under control in the gym, he’s friggin humbled ;-), well, he has never stood up to me, as I have kept my distance and always placed him were he belonged. Such is the #PrisonLife, lies after lies to survive ๐Ÿ˜‰

We now know why the old lad been fighting against repatriation to Canada; he was under parole, absconded and came to panama to do business and ended up slammed in a kingdom of the blind, where he became the king ;-), but his date and day with fate coming soon.

The simple life is the best life; treat everything, everyone the way you want to be treated. Period!

Old blog:

April, and May came and gone, not so much happening within and amongst us; quite a lot of old faces are gone, some are back to continue where they threw their towels. Some are lucky to get back to their old cells where they once lived. Others made do with floor space in the gym hall.

The reoffending rate is growing like a wildfire; the locals are seeing their peers leave and return before the doors they walked out are closed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seems some preferred the life in prison than the. Brutality of the outside world; in prison, they can sleep all day, free food, if they can bare to eat it, got constant security to watch their backs; either their fellow prison gangs members or the trigger-happy ย cops mounted on towers with rifles ready to shoot at any moving object.

Despite the high security, there’s been series of #PrisonBreak and attempted escape; mostly amongst the locals and the recent one in pavilion eight , a foreign inmate has dressed up like a warden, walked out, went through first and second security, but someone gave him up (snitch, rat, sapo) – his failed #PrisonBreak caused a total #lockdown and searches were carried out, curfew of zero-movement was in place. At the end, those warden uniform wasn’t made inside the prison, the families didn’t bring them in during visits, it was same corrupt cops and wardens who planned it and had it executed. #corruptsystem

Cops don’t worry much when a local escape as they know where they will find them; mum’s house, girlfriend’s or their fellow gang members will give up their hideout ;-), escaped foreign inmates are haunted down with all available materials as they know, those are heading out of the country.

A Colombian who was waiting an extradition to US, escaped from hospital where he was admitted for treatment (part of the game), lad must have paid heavily to have sneaked through tight security. But he made it to Colombia where he called his mates in the pavilion. When there’s corruption, money speaks loudest ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, the new government is hunting down corrupt officials from the previous administration; but the leader of the pack, ex-president Ricardo Martinelli is still at large, he’s been out of the country since January this year and yet to return. He’s probably on self exile ;-), ย  friggin scare of prison ๐Ÿ˜‰

Parts of his crews are slammed up in various prisons, some are singing, so they can get a deal for a minimum prison term. Weaklings!

Development; Colombia which has the most foreign prisoners in panama prisons has embarked on repatriating their citizens home en masse!

The first batch were picked up by a military jet, and the process to get many home is in place now; fingerprints were taken from many of the old inmates here, I guess same was done in other pavilions housing foreign inmates. It’s a step Colombia is taking to help panama decongest their prisons. Panama has about 16,000 inmates in total with more than a thousand foreigners slammed in deplorable and overcrowded concentration-camps-like pavilions.

Sunday, ย 7 Jun. 2015

Our overcrowded conditions has caused the infrastructures to break down; nothing seems to be working. There’s no access to medical, school or work projects, not even the food are enough, almost everyone cooks for themselves. The buildings themselves are collapsing on us, those sleeping up on top of the cells and others hanging on hammocks high up in the pavilion are of higher risk than those of us inside the cell. But, if there’s a fire outbreak, we are all fucked!

There’s been no water for three days now, everyone has fallen back to their reserves, who knows how long we are going without water. Earlier today, we were thrown into darkness, as I’m writing, there’s no electricity -Sun, 7 Jun. 2015, 13:15:53 – no-one knows how long we will remain in this state. It can go on for days, especially witht the water.

Meanwhile, diverse smuggling rings has been disrupted by cops; searches were carried out amongst the locals, where bottles of whiskeys, new knives, guns, drugs and many prohibited items were found, seized and display before the media. I have got some pictures on my twitter timelines; @Doingtimeabroad @PoeticPrisoner

Decided to make contact with the new minister of justice back home in The Netherlands, with request that my case be reviewed as his predecessor turned down my request for transfer to a dutch prison, which will bring me closer to my family and also give me the chance to round up my studies. Hope my email and letter gets to his office.

Friday, 1 May, 2015

It’s been a very hectic and a hell-of-a-week; sometimes it’s so quiet and tranquil, but then, our little peace is shattered by foolishness of some prisoners.

Well, today went fine for me as I had a good workout, more or less alone; I’m beginning to learn to train alone without thinking of any partners, though there are some nice lads that still want to stick with me as they all look up on me for guidance and help.

Being the only one here who will buy fitness and men’s health magazines, many always come for advices or ask for new routines as they get bored doing same thing over and over again ๐Ÿ˜‰

Decided to hit shoulders today as I haven’t been putting emphasis on them; well, tend to work it in many upper body routines and during Olympic lifts which has become part of me training routines.

Went through my routines with my American partner joining after he finished with another group earlier on, didn’t last long as he left. Others came late but got around doing their own thing.

A mate came out to use the pulley system as he was training back today; but the lad was so stupid as he sat down waiting for the groups using the pulley system to round up before he starts.

I advised him to get started with other back routines; using dumbbells, Olympic bar and even get going with pull-ups (which I prefer to pull-down ), he wouldn’t budge, and he waited for an hour plus before he began, well we have got so much time here, nothing to do and nowhere to go to ๐Ÿ˜‰

While in the gym, electricity went off and lasted till around 2pm; ate cold cereal as my postworkout meal and also my lunch.

No water all day; went on through the night, but thank God it rained after my workout, so we had our blue tank filled and the second one half full. They will be enough to take us through the day.

If there won’t be water tomorrow, then we are all falling back on our reserves, which will be very hard on us.

Now to the week!

The gym in prison like gyms outside has become a joint for socialising with people. Majority of my fellow inmates spend more time chatting about irrelevant things than working out. I’ve tried to refrain from such behaviour; nothing important, we talk after my workout. And glad I have an earphone which shuts me away from their lousy talks.

#PrisonViolence

My cellmate who was involved in a fight with another lad, finally retaliated by hitting the lad with a metal bar. He hit the lad so hard on his back, the lad was rushed to the hospital; he took the lad unaware. I was speechless as to what he did; he’s a grown up man of 53, but probably with the mind of a kid. He had insisted he will hit the lad, but he forgot that, in hitting the lad, it will bring about chains of reactions which might be very bloody and bitter.

As of today; my cellmate literally locks himself up in his little shack built on top of our cell. He kind of barricades himself in every night, now closes the windows, lock and tie them together, does same to the door and keeps a urine bottle under his bed where he takes a leak at night as he’s scare of venturing outside during the wee hours.

Well, when you decide to live violently, then you should expect something violent and unpleasant in return.

He told me that they are having meetings to throw him out of the pavilion, well, if such meeting is called for, many will vote for him to be thrown out; as this is not his first fight. And all stems up from flimsy arguments over sports; something I’ve tried to refrain from. I watch and read all I want for me and myself, not ready to discuss anything with inmates who can’t and won’t want to understand that arguments shouldn’t end in physical brawl. Thus, I stick to myself.

The only friend I have, left on Thursday after his lawyer or liar had played him around for a very long time. But finally got to work on his case after the lad asked for refund. I’m happy that he left, as he spent so much. His leaving has literally made me closed myself to everyone and everything around as I don’t have any dealings or businesses with anyone here.

There’s tension in the pavilion, as so much has been going on; the government are planning moving inmates to the new prison; which we heard is more of an inferno than where we are now. There’s no electric outlet or sockets for fan or television; meaning we’ll be grilled in the heat and no means to charge phones if at all we can get them to work as the signal jammers are more stronger there.

#PrisonBreak

Just around 8pm, our alarm system went off as inmates catcalled and whistles; we thought, we are been stormed upon. But it was cops moving around in search of an escaped local inmate from one the locals pavilions; got me wondering why they bother to search when they know the lad hasn’t got too many a option after escaping from prison. He will likely be at his mum’s or girlfriend’s or hang out with one of his gang bangers ๐Ÿ˜‰

Within days, he will be caught and hauled back to continue with his time ๐Ÿ˜‰

The panic really got us shaken as we didn’t know what was coming; if it’s the dreaded transfer, meaning we are definitely losing our phones and a lot of things. First thing first, we were at our stash points, then we heard why the cops were around; I guess from local inmates who have contacts here, that it’s a #PrisonBreak case. Got us relaxed, well for the moment.

When the commotion went on, many thought it was the big fight which we all know will come; the fight that my cellmate has started. And it will be Dominicans vs. Colombians (the majorities here).

The fight has also caused my friend to stay away from the gym, even if he goes to the gym now, he won’t be able to concentrate on his workout; he was and had never concentrated on his workout. If he had in the past, he wouldn’t have gotten into fights. Moreover, he forgot that he is diabetic, one who spent almost a month in the hospital for treatment.

The only peaceful way the Colombians want to resolve this case, is by having him thrown out of the pavilion and from all indications, they are bent on doing just that. He has talked to his fellow compatriots and others who cares to listen; that the lad hit him with a dumbbell, that’s why he retaliated. But many are saying the lad is a quiet guy and my mate must have provoked him first.

For now, we wait and see what comes next!!!

While we wait, we remain watchful and alert and with our backs to the wall!

Few are blaming me; saying I knew about it and didn’t do anything to stop it as I did during the first fight. Well, my mate took me unaware and since he refused listening to me, then he acted on his own and as an adult, thus, he should be man enough to face whatever consequences comes from his childishness ๐Ÿ˜‰

I doubt if many of his compatriots will join him as the core ones are waiting for their freedom; they won’t be stupid to get into fights that will jeopardise their walk to freedom. Thus, he’s definitely on his own!

Month of May:

Literally hot as it hasn’t rain for days, we had hoped that rain will begin this month, but it seems we were wrong as it has rained since the last drops on the first week of the month. Since then, it’s been heatwaves after heatwaves, grilling us as we waddled through the sweat of one another. The pavilion like others in the system is overcrowded, we barely have breathing space to move around. Once I’m done with my workout, I’m confined to my cell, even in my cell, sitting up on my bunk is the only way I can avoid humany bodily contact. That is the only way I can escape the furnace.

But, one has to do other things, I can’t lock myself away all day, have to move around and do little chores. Most importantly, I have to buy ice, which is the only source of comfort here; at least I can afford to drink chilled or iced water ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand how some inmates can go on drinking spree for days under such heat. The heat alone can drive a sane person insanely stupid as one tends to lose composition and sense of reality.

Despite our deplorable conditions which Panama’s media are now taking serious, the government is not ready to do anything to change it. Instead, more and more inmates are hauled in on daily basis.

Wo 8 Apr. 2015

The holy week came with everything sealed up for the holidays. Every holiday brings its ordeals on us; shortage of water, no groceries, no ice ๐Ÿ˜‰ and even the gym is closed, which annoys me most.

Luckily, this week we had a very good cop, who will be going home with more than his salary in freewill money gifts from inmates from being a good cop; that’s if there’s any good cop!

He opened the door and allowed us outside to workout, which I helped myself to couple of days during the holy week; did mostly cardio and used my new 40lbs toy #kettlebell ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have been reading a lot about kettlebell, after training with it, found out, it’s a very pragmatic and functional equipment; getting every part of the body into work ๐Ÿ˜‰ loving it โค

Had always believed that the holy week should be a moment for reflection and getting aright with one’s creator, at. Least understand the relevance and true meaning of Easter; well, to many of us, it’s moment to get pissed on the benders ๐Ÿ˜‰

The catholic faithfuls had their priest come around and performed easter service, while the evangelicals has theirs; apparently, they have updated their sound systems, better drum sets, keyboard, but they won’t beat the warring local inmates in pavilion five. Those lads are probably operating the best church in the centre alongside herd of gangs; I believe they are always armed while in church, as the church seems to be operating round the clock. Actually saw that firsthand in Renacer; right from church into the fields, knives drawn and blood spilled. I believe Jesus blood was enough to wash us clean, but these lads just love shedding more blood, wondering what more they want to cleanse ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, as for me and other fitness enthusiasts, we didn’t allow the easter break to stop us from doing what we love doing; having a cop who seem to know quite a handful of the lads here back then (tells, the kind of cop he is), he allowed us outside but very cautious as he wouldn’t want the captain to know we are outside.

Took off on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but did what I have to do all throughout the holidays; helps with my day and also my mind. Taking my #Yoga seriously and also doing more stretches (dynamic) and isometric routines, ain’t gonna be all lifting, pushing and pulling ๐Ÿ˜‰ . During my consul last visit she was able to bring in my XL #YogaMat and even brought in my 40lbs #Kettlebell, and friggin cops won’t let in vital vitamins and supplements and not even my weightlifting belt; friggin wankers.

I pray she is able to bring them in on the next visit, which will be in June ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The week after easter:

Panama was thrown into another #Lockdown after easter as it’s hosting the #SummitOfTheAmericas #CumbrePanama and having the three heads of the countries making headlines now in the America continent; #USA #Cuba #Venezuela. All eyes and ears will be on the #US and #Cuba as both are on pathways to normalised broken relationship after years of isolation has left the latter battered. #Maduro of Venezuela, doesn’t look happy as he won’t be getting anything nice from uncle sam ;-), lad has been a badass naughty boy!

As for us #Lockup and left to rot away; security seemed to have heightened in the wake of this meeting. Wondering, if they feel someone will break out to do some dirty job on one of the heads of states ;-), the lads are definitely busy think of where their next roll of joint or line of cokes will come from and busy arranging for credit for our potent liquor to help them through boring weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, from all I have been reading and what I have heard from all the leaders; it’s time the #USA #US stop meddling with other countries domestic affairs, friggin let and leave them to kill themselves, concentrate on guarding your borders and stop evil coming in. Leave every man to his fate, if they want to ruin their countries, leave them alone, when their citizens are tired of their leaders oppressions they will revolt and fight ๐Ÿ˜‰

The summit is not helping us at all, as all our loopholes are sealed, nothing is coming in, exception of few bottles of whiskey and the usuals; coke, weed and knives ;-), proper food aren’t allowed or smuggled in, well, few chickens been nicked and sold her by the locals collaborating with their buddies in here. And those amongst us working in the kitchen are nicking and pilfering the kitchen stock to sell to their buddies. Have tried to break into their ring, but it’s a tight syndicate; only inmates from same country are members ๐Ÿ˜‰ will keep trying as I can get vegetables (something I need badly).

My workout this week has been very intensive, doing more of all-body routines, perfecting my Olympic lifts. My group is growing with each day, and what I hate most, some comes and then disappeared for days, and then reappear; friggin playing Houdini with my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

I have found a way to work #HIIT in a group of 6/7 members; get about with other activities while waiting to take my turn in the normal routine, but for them, they will rather sit out and cold ;-). I incorporate bodyweight routines while waiting for my regular routines; abs, lunges, planks, burpees and anything that would keep me pumping and not idling around ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our shemale looking robust; seems Turkish doing her well, but from what I tend to see every night, she is dating two lads in the same cell. Either she is with Turkish or a Dominican lad whose eyes always green when he sees her playing around with others; love at first lockup ๐Ÿ˜‰

Za 11 Apr. 2015

It’s weekend; made it to the gym today, which is usually my free day. Decided to hit legs and took it seriously, we had high volumes of squats, lunges and rounded up with abs and cable routines. Enjoyed today’s workout; probably one of my best this week. Had started with 30mins of #yoga poses and stretches #HinduPushups, warmed up with body-weight squats and lunges and then went to the day’s business; #Squat and seriously heavy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Felt very good after the workout Endorphins and Dopamine surging and keeping me smiling; even the few who braced it were thankful for the push I gave them and bringing them out as not many fancied leg days ;-). My American training mate was totalled after the workout, he will feel it tomorrow, as he won’t be able to get down from his top bunk bed ๐Ÿ˜‰

No proper food today; helped myself to mixed cereals with nuts and after workout and later for lunch/dinner had full plate of mixed salads with chunk of beef-like meat from the dinner cart. Will do another bowl of cereal later in the evening. Need my protein, hope to get someone to pick them up from my embassy.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

We strives to avoid certain things, inevitably they seems to be right before us and about to take us unaware; that was what happened today at the gym!

My day has began as it does with any other day, well except when we are awoken by an early morning search. Went through mmy morning rituals and out to the gym for the day’s routine; taking a break from Olympic lifting and Crossfit routines. Decided for conventional body parts routines; back and shoulders. Bit rowdy in the gym, but got my way through, gathered enough weights for my workout; none of my training mates showed up, not bad as I’m not working what I would be in need of a spotter.

Had a good workout before others joined me, my diabetic cellmate also came; bit late, he’s not specific with his routines, does whatever he sees other doing. Lad spends most of his gym time talking than working; guess, it what’s keep him going.

Today’s talk actually went eerie as they launched into football, with a Colombian (apparently, a quiet lad) jokingly telling my cellmate that his country, Dominican Republic is not a football nation. My cellmate, who is hot tampered didn’t take it lightly with the lad; launched into serious brawl with the lad. The lad havind two 20lbs dumbbells in his hands, ‘must have’ hit him with the dumbbells and that took everything to a different level as another Dominican young lad came to the rescue of his compatriot (my cellmate), I had to jumped in to save the day; while most inmates around wanted the fight, which would have been very bloody or deadly as metals laying around would have been used.

I literally held my cellmate in a wrestling lock for more than 30mins, trying to restrain him as he wanted to go back to the lad. Others stood idly waiting for more action, some were calling out to me to let go of him. And I didn’t let go of him until peace was restored, we had to round up with our workout for the day; asked the lads to put the weights in, glad my kettlebell wasn’t there as it would been the weapon of choice.

It’s a pity gone are the days men will go on one another with bare hands, most prisoners are busy each day fashioning weapons of warfare as there’s not strength or no mojo as men for physical brawl. After all said and done; second fight that my cellmate is involved so far since he came back for a second stint in the slammer. I guess, he’s partly resented and angry but just don’t know how to channel those angst into something positive; anny little upset easily set him off, like a sleeping volcano waiting to erupt. But his eruption is always at the wrong time and against the wrong people as the two people he’s been in brawls with are also latinos and fully armed if the needs arises.

Well, as always, the talk of the day is focused on him; with nothing of importance to discuss, the pavilion is divided into to two camps. A faction heard his side of the story and others heard the other’s, and the conclusion I tend to get from everyone; that my cellmate should let it slide. But he’s been very defiant; insisting he will attack the lad with dumbbells as the lad did, but looking at everything, the lad didn’t mean to hit him as there’s no physical injuries, and from what I heard, he threw the first punch. Thus, he should accept it as bygone and let life go on!

I hope that will be the case; bygone be bygone and life goes on!

Do 23 Apr. 2015

Rain has finally come, but then, it’s messing with our electricity, and it does it mostly at night; which sends mosquitoes everywhere. Our in-house technicians are working round the clock to keep us alight ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I didn’t train yesterday; went to school! Woke up early with plans to hit outside for a quick cardio session. The new cop who took over yesterday wouldn’t allow anyone outside, so, decided to do my thing in the gym hall; which was a bit full.

After good stretches and bodyweight routines, went on for a good full arm blast; #Biceps #Triceps and rounded up with sessions of Olympic lifts and abs. Tried to use my time,n refraining from chitchat ๐Ÿ™‚

While in the gym, Dr. Porter was called out; well dressed as he left with his medical appliances. Upon asking him, if he’s leaving, he answered; that he’s on his way to the hospital for scan and check up. Lately, he’s been very ill, barely talk and as words are going around; they say the cancer is spreading through his body. Whatever the outcome of his hospital visit will be, I pray it goes easy with him as he beat the odds of surviving cancer when he was hauled in here. He was given just six months to live, despite the inhumane and deplorable condition here; he made it through two years. I believe it’s the will and inner strength to survive which many off us possess that kept him through the harsh conditions here.

Several talks in the gym about him as he walked out, it actually killed my mood; had to round up my workout and called it a day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Doc, has been of great help here; few lads would have kicked the bucket, but his swift response and assistance saved their lives.

Prison being a sort of crossroads brings all sorts of people together, irrespective of their class, race, wealth or position in the society. And it’s in prison that men become equal, though some still craves for and create the hierarchical world they had known (#PrisonGangs)! Others, through their wealth buy position and place themselves higher than others who are willing to seek favours #Patrons #Boss #KingPin. But at the end, we are hauled in and lockup together and probably forgotten as the case is in panama. Thus, it’s in prison that all men are truly equal in the eyes of the law; we are all friggin scumbags of the society. Period!

One thing I pray, I hope it goes well with Doc; cancer as we’ve come to understand comes with so many tricks and can be very evasive. How long he has to live, we don’t know, but some lads saying, he hasn’t gotten much time left! Will be following whatever I can get online from different media in Canada as they tend to be very obsessed with his news.

Such is life in prison; one moment, you think someone cares about you, and the next second, you become one of the forgotten. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out that everyman is on his own when it comes to survival. And that struggle to survive is more seen within the high concrete walls of prisons where men are left in the wild to fight and survive whatever comes their way.

Repetition and predictability, they say are the roots of boredom and prisoners locked up for years, who go through the same monotonous tasks every day-to-day are at the mercy of total breakdown; mentally and physically!

I have learned to break out of the vicious circle of monotony, by waking up to each day with a different mindset; made my workout unpredictable, unlike most lads doing same thing every day. Also make sure my diet isnโ€™t build around what the prison offers, but on healthy stuffs I can put together. Keep myself busy with books, music and internet. It’s survival mode always.

The prison experience is one that comes with changes on the inside and outside of all who survives it. The change process can be bitter, but at the end it has its benefits if one is willing to learn through the process.

Don’t fear change. You may lose something good, but you may also gain something great.

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CAYMAN CALLS FOR PROBE: On The Death Of A Caymanian Inmate In La Joya Cรกrcel Panamรก.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 15, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

Decided to post this article about the caymanian inmate who died in our pavilion, with the hope there will be pressure on the Panamanian authorities to do something about the prison conditions in Panama.

The lad died from negligence from the police who would never come when our alarm are raised, and most times late at night.

As an inmate in the same pavilion where the lad died, I have been tweeting: @DoingTimeAbroad and blogging: http://www.doingtimeabroad.wordpress.com about our deplorable and inhumane conditions in the pavilion.

We could go for days and weeks without water, to the extent of relieving oneself in plastic bags and throwing them over the wire fences. Sleeping condition is at one’s own risk, inmates without beds find themselves scrambling for sleep spaces on cold floors, or hung high in hammocks made from empty plastic bags of ice cubes (improvisation).
Those with money can build makeshift beds in cells when accepted, and such was the case of the late Caymanian inmate; his hunk was very high and higher than every other thing in the cell, doubt if anybody would have survived a fall from such height. And his death just proved that.

I hope the Caymanian authorities with the British government will put pressure on Panama to better the conditions of its prisoners and improve our basic rights.

Article culled from:
http://www.compasscayman.com/mobile/story.aspx?id=143078

CAYMAN CALLS FOR PROBE.

Caymanian Prisoner who died in Panamanian Prison.

25 August, 2014

By: James Whittaker |ย jwhittaker@pinnaclemedialtd.com

http://www.compasscayman.com/mobile/story.aspx?id=143078

A Caymanian prisoner who died in a Panama jail cell had been in negotiations with officials in his homeland to be transferred out of the dangerous Central American prison.

Mark Bodden, who died from head injuries apparently sustained in a fall from his bunk in the overcrowded La Joya prison, was in regular contact with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, according to his cellmates.

โ€œHe had great faith in this guy Franz Manderson. He had been speaking to him on Facebook and he was confident he would be returned to Cayman,โ€ said Leo Morgan, a British inmate locked up alongside Mr. Bodden in the wing of the prison reserved for foreign nationals.

Ben Perschky, another Brit who shared a cell with the Caymanian prisoner, said he had borrowed his cellphone on several occasions to make contact with Cayman and believed he had got clearance to come home.

Mr. Bodden was in the second year of a 100-month sentence for drug offenses at the time of his death, according to his fellow prisoners. Mr. Manderson is currently off island, but Eric Bush, chief officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, confirmed there had been contact between the Deputy Governorโ€™s office and the prisoner.

He confirmed that officials were negotiating through British embassy representatives in Panama to have Mr. Bodden transferred home to serve the rest of his sentence at Northward Prison.

โ€œWe were in the process of considering the issues around Mr. Boddenโ€™s request to be repatriated to see if that could be a possibility,โ€ said Mr. Bush.

Mr. Bodden died before his request could be fulfilled. Now officials are assisting the family in efforts to have his body returned to Cayman and are pushing prison officials in Panama for a proper investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

โ€œI think the Cayman Islands Governmentโ€™s responsibility is to ensure there is a full and fair investigation is carried out as to the cause of this death and from the findings of that ensure appropriate corrective action is taken,โ€ Mr. Bush said.

He said an official request had been made for the findings of the Panamanian government investigation to be handed over to the Commissioner of Police in Cayman for review.

The Deputy Governorโ€™s office is currently keeping tabs on 13 Cayman nationals serving time in prisons abroad, including in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Cayman Islands officials have some scope to aid prisoners overseas and have done so on previous occasions โ€“ facilitating the return of Kisha Letoya McLean from prison in Mexico to serve the rest of her sentence for drug trafficking in Cayman in 2012. She has since been released.

But the extent of the assistance that can be provided is somewhat limited and dependent on often time-consuming negotiations through the British embassy with foreign governments.

โ€œWhile we care very much about the welfare of all our citizens, when someone is legally confined in another country, they fall within the relevant legislation and conventions of that country,โ€ said Mr. Bush.

โ€œThey can make a request which is considered through the department of Public Prosecutions in consultation with Home Affairs as to whether we are able to house them and allow them to serve the rest of their sentence here. We have to come to a mutual agreement with the country [where they are being held] to allow them to do that. We have done it before.โ€

He said British embassy officials facilitate communication, but any decision to repatriate Cayman prisoners โ€“ usually only considered when Caymanians are locked up in potentially dangerous circumstances โ€“ are ultimately sanctioned by the governor.

Cellmates of Mr. Bodden have given firsthand accounts to the Cayman Compass and have sent pictures via cellphone that depict the harrowing scenes inside the La Joya prison were the Caymanian was held from 2012.

They say there are more than 500 prisoners living in a wing built for 180 inmates. They have to buy or build their own beds and sleep seven to a cell or piled up in cramped passageways.

Internet and cellphone access do not appear to be a problem, however, and Mr. Bodden had posted pictures on his Facebook page of daily life inside the prison, including shots of laundry hanging in the narrow corridors running through his cell block.

Mr. Morgan, a British drug dealer locked up for money laundering, sent the Compass grim images of the darker side of life on the cell block, where he says he has seen people shot, stabbed and killed in fights. Access to healthcare and clean water is also a serious problem, as well as abuse from guards. He says he has pressed for improved conditions in talks with embassy officials but without success.

According to several prisoners, there was a riot in the cell block earlier this month after prison officers opened fire with tear gas and shotguns during a routine search. Details of the riot were widely reported in Panamanian media as well as in Canada because of injuries sustained by inmate Dr. Arthur Porter, a high profile figure in that country [sic] Dr. Porter is renowned Canadian urologist who is locked up in Panama pending extradition to Canada.

Other prisoners have posted YouTube videos of the squalid and cramped conditions inside the prison.

A 2013 Human Rights report by the U.S. State Department on the Panamanian prison system suggests such problems are rife throughout the country.

โ€œPrison conditions remained harsh and in some cases life threatening. Problems included overcrowding, use of police stations as detention facilities, a shortage of prison guards, and inadequate health care.โ€

It adds, โ€œProblems included overcrowding, lack of medical services, lack of potable water, inadequate ventilation, lighting, and sewage treatment,โ€ the report says.

The report says there are currently 15,124 inmates locked up in prisons built for half that many. It says La Joya prison, where Mr. Bodden was held, has one first-aid clinic, but it does not have the capacity to deal with serious medical issues. It also points to difficulties and delays in transporting prisoners to outside medical facilities โ€“ an issue which cellmates say may have contributed to Mr. Boddenโ€™s death.

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

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on October 3, 2014 by doingtimeabroad

“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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ , or better put it; Fast and Furious Recovery ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย #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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ . 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย 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. ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.”