Inter-American Court of Human Rights

b) Testimony of Osmar López Verón, former inmate at the Center

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b) Testimony of Osmar López Verón, former inmate at the Center
The witness entered the Center for the fourth time in February 2000, and was placed in Cellblock 8. A record was kept of the inmates and the reason for their detention. He was 13 when he entered the Panchito López Center for the first time. At that time, the only inmates kept separately were the “chacariteños” (a neighborhood in Asunción). When he entered the Center, no physician ever gave him a check-up.
The cellblock to which he was assigned housed between 30 and 35 inmates. The inmate population of the Center as a whole was between 250 and 300. The children washed the cells out with water, as there was no soap. The bathrooms had latrines without doors. They had showers with water. They sometimes had toilet paper. Inmates were not supplied with clothing or shoes. “If you were cold, you stayed cold.” When he came to the Center he saw sheets and blankets, but he was never given any. He slept with another inmate to stave off the cold. The food “was horrible”; it was almost always “beans with stew”. The inmates themselves did the cooking. There were no spoons and only 20 dirty plates for all the inmates.
The inmates left their cellblock for around six hours a week, and every time they entered or left the cellblock, the guards “locked them down.” In other words, cellblocks were locked shut with a key.
The witness went to school for three hours straight, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., or from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. During the day he watched television and listened to the radio. But he didn’t work.
The physician gave them an “all-terrain” pill; in other words, it was the same pill no matter what the complaint, whether it was a tooth ache or a headache. There was no dentist, no eye doctor, no psychiatrist.

There were rapes at the Center, but never in the cellblock where the repeat offenders were housed, which is where he was. When a rape occurred, the directors examined the person who had been raped. Furthermore, there were 15 guards on shifts. There was no fighting among the inmates themselves.

The disciplinary regime at the Center consisted of beatings and clubbings. The guards took the inmates to a cellar, where they hit them wherever they wanted and then returned them to the cellblock. He didn’t see a lockup, just a cellar. Also, no restraints like handcuffs, chains and shackles were used. “They just took them away by force.”
The witness was at the Center when the first fire occurred on February 11, 2000. He didn’t have anything to do with that fire. An officer by the name of Cano, who came from Tacumbú Prison, was to blame. That day all the inmates were still awake when an officer took away a group of five or six inmates from Cellblock 8 and told the others to go to bed. They answered that they were not tired. The inmates who were taken away were brutally beaten, for no reason. It was around two or three in the morning and the guards were drunk. When the inmates returned –all bruised and beaten- they were planning to go on a hunger strike, and then the fire broke out. The officers ran, but did nothing. One officer said: “Let them die […] what do I care.” Two inmates died: Cahvito and Yacaré. Then another seven died after being taken to the hospital –among them the witness’ friend Mario Cabra. It was said that Mario Cabra had already been released –the news had come that very day around 6:00 p.m. Once the inmates were in the patio, the authorities delayed two or three hours before taking the injured inmates to the hospital.
He asked the Court for his freedom, as he said he did not want money. Upon his release, he wants to find another job and live with his mother.

Directory: docs -> casos -> articulos
docs -> #17622 Relational Leadership: New Developments in Theory and Practice
docs -> Leadership Development Programs and ecq-based Readings
articulos -> Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of Loayza-Tamayo v. Peru Judgment of November 27, 1998
articulos -> Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of DaCosta Cadogan v. Barbados Judgment of September 24, 2009
articulos -> Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of Albán-Cornejo et al v. Ecuador Judgment of August 5, 2008
articulos -> Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of Baldeón-García v. Perú Judgment of April 6, 2006
casos -> Operation Condor
casos -> Humberto antonio sierra porto and eduardo ferrer mac-gregor poisot case of the kali
articulos -> Official summary issued by the inter-american court

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