Growing up in a prison filled with drug lords: The brutal Bolivian jail where families live alongside their criminal relatives

Sarah Dean writes in Mailonline:

Growing up in a prison filled with drug lords: The brutal Bolivian jail where families live alongside their criminal relatives

  • San Pedro prison, the biggest in Bolivia’s main city, La Paz, holds around 3,000 dangerous inmates
  • The prison has no guards inside and is run by criminals who pay for their own cells and dish out punishments
  • Inmates’ children and partners are believed to be safer inside the prison than on the impoverished streets

Eye-opening images have revealed what life is like for children inside Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro Prison where the families of inmates live alongside drug lords.

Rows of laundry hang across the brightly-coloured courtyard as children play with toy trucks below and murders, robbers and rapists lurk nearby.
San Pedro prison, the biggest in Bolivia’s main city, La Paz, is believed to hold around 3,000 dangerous inmates.

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The premise is the children and partners of the inmates are safer inside the prison than on the impoverished streets outside.

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But they often fall victim inside too. In 2013 it was reported a 12-year-old girl fell pregnant after being raped by a group of men inside the prison.

These offences do not go unpunished, with rapists and child molesters treated with a brutal zero-tolerance policy by the inmates ‘council’. Being stabbed is one of the most common punishments.

From the outside, San Pedro looks like any other jail but the inside is like no other prison on earth.

There are no guards or metal bars on the cell windows and inmates have to pay for their own cells by working inside the jail. Available jobs include carpentry, laundry services and even shoe-shining.

Drug production inside San Pedro is rife, with some of the purest cocaine in the country made and sold inside.

The prison inspired the cult 2003 book Marching Powder by Australian journalist Rusty Young.

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But they often fall victim inside too. In 2013 it was reported a 12-year-old girl fell pregnant after being raped by a group of men inside the prison.

These offences do not go unpunished, with rapists and child molesters treated with a brutal zero-tolerance policy by the inmates ‘council’. Being stabbed is one of the most common punishments.

From the outside, San Pedro looks like any other jail but the inside is like no other prison on earth.

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-6-03-06-pm

There are no guards or metal bars on the cell windows and inmates have to pay for their own cells by working inside the jail. Available jobs include carpentry, laundry services and even shoe-shining.

Drug production inside San Pedro is rife, with some of the purest cocaine in the country made and sold inside.

The prison inspired the cult 2003 book Marching Powder by Australian journalist Rusty Young.

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His book told the story of Thomas McFadden, a small-time English drug smuggler who was arrested in Bolivia and thrown inside the notorious jail.

It also lifted the lid on the drug-trafficking that runs rampant inside San Pedro.
One of the photos in this series, taken by photographer Danielle Almeida Pereira, 35, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows an inmate handling what appears to be a bag of cocaine.

McFadden ended up making a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison, however these were eventually banned when it emerged tourists were also buying cocaine at the ‘prison factory’.

The Brit was released from San Pedro in 2000 after serving two-thirds of his sentence and now works as a chicken farmer in Tanzania.

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The lack of guards inside the jail and the fact inmates have to pay for their own cells means San Pedro is a cheap model for a government in one of the poorest nations in South America.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4131838/Inside-Bolivia-s-brutal-San-Pedro-prison.html

This is an unfortunate atrocity, and we are all responsible to put an end to this!

The populist demagogue who had control of ALL State powers, over the last eleven years, and after wasting $180 billion dollars, has done absolutely nothing to improve this … a real shame!

No excuses!

 

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