The Minister of Human Rights, Silvio Almeida, determined that the National Ombudsman’s Office under his department should “immediately” activate São Paulo Justice authorities and human rights entities to take “appropriate measures” in relation to “serious allegations” of mistreatment within of the Provisional Detention Center (CDP) of Caraguatatuba (SP).
Spoiled food, cutting out basic food items, rats in the kitchen, lack of medicine, medical negligence are the main points of a letter written collectively by the inmates and to which Brasil de Fato had access. In it, the arrested men claim to be living under “inhumane conditions” and with “food incompatible with our rights”.
Overcrowded, the unit is under the direction of Alan Scarabel de Souza. Stating that they do not have “the strength to combat this oppression without the help of a competent body”, the pre-trial detainees ask “for the love of God, human rights, incline your ears to this cry of despair”.
The report contacted the Ministry of Human Rights asking what measures were, are or will be taken in relation to this case, but as of the time of writing this article there was no response.
Fruit returned after complaint, but conditions remain
After the complaint was published by Brasil de Fato last November 8, family members of the Caraguatatuba CDP prisoners who visited last weekend reported that there was still no retaliation and that fruit was once again served at meals.
The lack of access to healthcare and hunger, however, remain unchanged, say family members. “It is very difficult, as a mother, to see your son dying,” said Jurema*, whose son is in this prison unit.
:: Spoiled food and lack of medicine: inmates in prison on the coast of SP write a collective letter with a ‘request for help’ ::
“It is true that he committed a crime, even if his act was not that serious, but even if it was, they cannot be killing the prisoners little by little. Because that’s what they’re doing there: killing”, describes Jurema.
The Secretariat of Penitentiary Administration (SAP) informs that the food “respects a menu that was prepared by nutritionists”, that employees of the department are responsible for “evaluating and monitoring the hygiene and cleaning conditions of the place” and that “access to health is guaranteed by the unit’s health sector.” Last September 25, a man imprisoned in the CDP of Caraguatatuba died. He was HIV positive and was not under treatment.
“The prison mistreats”
Headed by Military Police Colonel Marcello Streifinger, SAP has been expanding the number of prisons in the state – which is already the country’s record holder, with 195. At the moment, two others are under construction.
On the other hand, resources for maintaining the prison population are cut. Last October 17, governor Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) decreed the transfer of R$27 million from SAP to Companhia de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM).
“The prison mistreats them… And when they leave here on the streets, society no longer includes them”, says Jurema. “This is how overcrowding in the prison continues, because out here they have no chance of starting over”, she assesses.
“When I got out of jail, my son tried to find a job. He was so happy, in a marble factory. He was going to be registered. When they asked for his criminal record, they sent him away,” says Jurema, sobbing. “Because once arrested, always arrested”, he summarizes.
*The name has been changed to preserve the source.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho