The witness’ son’s name was Sergio Daniel Vega Figueredo and he was incarcerated in the Center for one year and seven months, without ever having been convicted. He was 16 when he was placed there. Before then, his son “was a normal person” and did not use drugs.
Sergio Daniel was accused of “misdemeanor battery.” One year later, “the girls” that were with him on the day the events with which he was charged occurred stated that he was not guilty. The family got an attorney, “an ineffectual person” who failed to secure the release of the witness’ son because the prosecutor told them that “his paperwork [wa]s already filed.”
The witness went to visit his son on Saturdays and Sundays, because he worked on the working days of the week. His son described for him the mistreatment and abuse he was getting. The first thing the father noticed about him was a striking weight loss. Apparently, however, he became accustomed to the regimen at the prison. His “son was tortured in the prison by members of the prison staff.” Each cell at the Center housed some 30 inmates. In fact, close to 50 inmates were crammed into one, rather small area. Some had beds; others slept on mattresses on the floor. Still others slept directly on the floor, with no mattress. There was one bathroom in each cell. He didn’t know whether the Center had physicians, but when an inmate had a pain, the only medication was a pill of some kind.
On February 11, 2000, his son died of asphyxiation at the Center. The witness learned through the media. Sergio Daniel was asleep when the fire broke out. When his wife and he went to the Center, they were told that the inmates were no longer there and had been transferred to a burns center located in a municipality near Asunción. They waited a long time at the Center, but their son was not brought out to them. One of the witness’ elder sons told the parents that they were to return home and that Sergio Daniel would be delivered to them there.
Some said that the inmates set the fire, but it could have been “someone else.” “There are many stories but […] we don’t know what really happened.” They were never given a penny; all they received was the coffin.
The witness’ family still feels the pain of their misfortune. The witness has eleven children and not one of the others has ever been in the Center or even in any police station.
The witness is asking the Court for the justice he has been unable to get in his own country. He is asking for compensation to have a vault since his son is currently buried in a vault belonging to a distant relative. Other families have had to endure situations similar to his family.