A number of human rights defence organisations have, on several occasions, protested about the appalling sanitary conditions in the Marco Paz state prison in Argentina. Thier efforts have, however, been in vain.
A recent detainee sent photographs to the Argentine section of the International Prison Observatory on May 5, 2019, which showed the deplorable detention conditions in Los Olmos and Marco Paz prisons. Graciela Dubrez, our correspondent in the organisation, has added comments to these as follows:
For fear of reprisals, the prisoner has covered his face with a handkerchief to conceal his identity. He is in the infirmary. It is squalid, badly lit and under-equipped. He has been waiting several days to be seen.
In the infirmary. The mattress is smeared with excrement, the walls are stained, and it is filthy everywhere. The nauseating odour is described by the visitor as “suffocating”.
A prisoner shows his severely infected and untreated leg. One form of torture and ill-treatment of detainees is to deny them the medical care they need. When a prisoner screams from his cell or inmates bang on the bars for attention, no one answers. Transfer to hospital is a last resort, and happens only when the condition of the prisoner is of grave concern.
Los Olmos Olmos prison has deteriorated dramatically. Rat excrement is everywhere on the prison stairways and corridors.
The cells are extremely dirty. Only if the facilities were sanitised and the walls cleaned, would it be possible to demand that the prisoners themselves be clean. Due to a lack of fumigation, the prison is overrun with bedbugs, roaches and rats of all sizes.
Disciplinary cells are nicknamed “mailboxes”. The situation in these is the same as in the rest of the prison: dirt, lack of ventilation, darkness, insects and rodents.
The infected mouth of a prisoner. He has not received treatment because dental care is virtually non-existent.
Marco Paz state prison. A prisoner receives poor quality food. If he had ingested it, he would have suffered serious food poisoning.
A buzzard eating a rat. Their presence in prison is epidemic.