A few weeks ago at San Miguel prison, the visiting and entrustment schedule was modified due to the cessation of COVID19 preventive measures. This adjustment consists of: One day of parcels (toiletries and clothing) and two days of visitation, with the condition that only the visit that is during the week is allowed the delivery of food from the outside (food bowls with food, fruits, snacks, among others).
Today, Wednesday, October 19, the prison only had 5 officials to carry out the protocol review, both of people and food. The visiting hours provided is from 09.00 to 11.30 hrs, at about 11.20 hrs there were still colleagues in the visiting area waiting to let in their relatives, even when the bell rang at the end of the visit, not all family members had entered, the right to visit was denied and they were only allowed to receive the bags with food and the family member had to leave immediately, in some cases the visit did not last more than 10 minutes.
To make the situation worse, the gendarmerie officers who carried out the body search protocol demanded that the people undress, forced the women to lower their underwear to make a vaginal inspection with a paddle that rubbed all those who were subdued, threatening that they would not let them enter if they did not give in. I speak of subjugation at this particular point since stripping is a totally forbidden practice and the sensors must be worn over the clothes. Under no circumstances can women be required to show their breasts, vagina or anus, since that is what the digital sensors are for. Faced with this situation, the officials responded that it is part of the protocol, that it has always been like that, when they were summoned regarding an informative poster that exists outside the prison about the body search, they responded that it was “old”, that it no longer exists.
We cannot continue to allow humiliation and denigration to be customary, although these practices have been normalized in the prison daily life, we must not allow them to continue or to go unnoticed, because this is how the jailers exceed their functions, turning the visit into a humiliating experience, totally humiliating. We should not continue to compromise our dignity just so that the jailer will grant us a visit, visits are NOT a benefit and we do not owe them thanks, they are a right explicitly stated in the Prison Regulations.
All these experiences are common in prisons throughout the territory, even I myself lived it when I visited other prisons. It is up to us to do something about it and not let these abusive practices continue!
Source: Publicacion Refractario