Translated for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article by Otis B Fly-Wheel
They want better treatment at the Altiplano Super-max in State of Mexico, they started a hunger strike, organised by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Edgar Valdez Villarreal, "La Barbie", in this past June, it was raised by inmates in a complaint submitted to National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH).
In a hand written letter made from 11 pages stripped from a notebook, the 138 prisoners accuse the Prison Authorities of violating their human rights.
The document, broadcast in the portal Nayaritenlinea.mx, describes the irregular conditions in which conjugal and family visits are carried out. It also describes the overcrowded and unsanitary cells, in addition to unstable power supplies to the prison and problems with telephone calls.
The prisoners, according to the text, only have one hour a day to leave their cells, there are no social re-insertion activities, the medical service is inefficient and the prison shop is insufficient and badly operated.
The group of criminals, among them "El Chapo" and "La Barbie", Hector Beltran Leyva "El H" and Miguel Angel Felix Gallado, denounce Librado Carmona Garcia, Technical Director of the prison located in the State of Mexico, and who they accuse of corruption and repression. ( Otis: cry me a river, the boot is on the other foot now).
With legible letters, the list of alleged violations of Human Rights of the prisoners starts with the family visits, where the prisoners assure that from the moment they enter the prison, until the moment they leave they are treated in an indignant manner, well without respect, they are also searched naked before entering under the gaze of officials, in many cases they are verbally abused and intimidated, without any sense of professional ethics, with no regard for humans feelings on the part of the Security personnel.
In regards of the rooms supplied for conjugal visits, the complaint to the CDNH says that the rooms supplied are leaking water, unsanitary, some covered in broken glass, walls that are broken or with holes in. Wash basins, fallen off the wall that give neither hot or cold water, dirty broken mattresses with wires hanging out.
In respect of their internment, there are inhuman conditions of overcrowding where cells built to house two inmates have three, with one person living on the floor, which has led to skin diseases, pulmonary and respiratory problems, in addition to water leaks and the smell of sewerage.
In regards of complaints of the food, the company who provides the catering, served chicken undercooked and in bad condition, the beans have stones in, sausages that are rotten and out of date and local fruit has disappeared from the diet.
In respect of personal communication, every prisoner has the right to a telephone call of ten minutes duration every nine days, which is constantly sabotaged by negligence or laziness of the operator.
And at this point, they demand the installation of two public telephones with the appropriate security measures.
Its not possible to be incarcerated 23 of 24 hours per day, said another prisoner, they only allow one hour outside of the cell, this doesn't amount to 60 minutes, because 15 minutes of that are lost to searches of body and clothing, the rest of the activities we are meant to have are a utopia because they do not exist, it said in the text.
The inmates suggest that they should be allowed two hours of yard time per day, and reactivation of standard activities which are including in protocols for running max security establishments.
About the medical services, they assure that "Areli" is a arrogant and haughty manager of this area, who treats the prisoners worse than animals, is the girlfriend of the Prison Technical Director Librado Carmona Garcia, who qualifies as the untouchable regime, who really governs the institution and who traffics privileges of the prisoners for large amounts of cash, conspiring with other prison department directors, who take bribes from wealthy prisoners in exchange for giving them their rights.
They also add that the authorized 664 pesos allowed per month per prisoner to buy items from the prison shop is inadequate, toilet paper, soap for example, is insufficient to satisfy the basic necessities , the prisoners assure that the products sold in the prison shop are of very poor quality and of dubious brands.
Among the prisoners who signed the complaint, are Juan Frutos Aguilar a member of "Mochaorejas", Abel Valadez Uribe of La Familia Michoacana, and Ramiro Rangel Soto of the Cartel del Golfo, are soliciting the immediate intervention of CNDH for a quick solution of what they consider " frank violation of rights and human dignity.
They advertise, "we know that this complaint will come into public light, it is sure and inevitable that the institution will immediately undertake reprisals as subjugation and repression to all the under signed and the prison population in general."
Original article in Spanish at Proceso
Link to great Chivis article on life at Altiplano No 1.