Image: Luis Trapaga
In February of this year, the warden of Canaleta Prison in the province of Ciego de Ávila stopped allowing us to wear our own clothes and introduced a uniform that all prisoners are required to wear, consisting of two undershirts, one pair of shorts and one pair of pants. Several weeks later, a common prisoner,* Ernesto Jiménez Aragón, reported for his new clothing and was advised that it would not be delivered until visiting day. Because of this surprising response, Ernesto’s family asked again, on visiting day, for the clothing, but this time they were told that someone had robbed the prison warehouse. With this new development, the family, distressed, spoke with the Chief Prison Warden, General Marcos Hernández Alcalá, who assured them that the pieces of clothing would either turn up or be paid for by those who are responsible for the warehouse. However, according to Ernesto, neither one of these things happened, and he ordered five shorts, five pants, five pullovers and four undershirts. But the worst part of the situation is that even though there is a severe penalty for theft, these things can happen. Aragón alleges that his mother cannot afford to buy him any more clothes, since she is sick with cancer of the throat and does not have enough money for this anomaly.
Moreover, other prisoners assert that recently, in this same provincial prison, someone robbed the workers’ pay, and they still have not caught the responsible party.
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