June 8th, 2010
10:46 PM ET

Van der Sloot faces prisons known for harsh conditions

Joran van der Sloot, Stephany Flores, Natalee Holloway. These names dominated Google trends for most of Tuesday, when news broke that van der Sloot allegedly confessed to Peruvian authorities to killing Flores. Adding to the intrigue, sources close to the investigation said the Dutchman admitted to killing Flores after she discovered information on his laptop linking him to the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway.

"Peru prisons" was also a popular search term late in the afternoon, with many wondering what kind of conditions van der Sloot might face if he enters one of Peru's 71 active prisons.

A 2009 U.S. State Department report on Peru's human rights record noted that while the South American country's government generally respects the human rights of its citizens, prison conditions were harsh for the country's 44,800 inmates - 17,297 of whom were awaiting sentencing as of December 2009, according to the report.

Among the areas of serious concern highlighted were overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate nutrition and health care. The San Juan de Lurigancho men's prison held 9,874 prisoners in a facility designed for 3,204 and incidences of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS were reportedly at near-epidemic levels, according to the report.

"Prisoners with money had access to cell phones, illegal drugs and meals prepared outside the prison. Conditions were poor to extremely harsh in facilities for prisoners who lacked funds," the report said. "Inmates had intermittent access to running water, bathing facilities were inadequate, kitchen facilities were unhygienic, and prisoners slept in hallways and common areas for lack of cell space."

Corruption and professional incompetence were also reported in some of the nation's 71 prisons, 56 of which are operated by The National Penitentiary Institute. The National Police of Peru has jurisdiction over the rest, according to the State Department report.

"There were deaths of inmates in prisons, most attributed to fellow inmates, but some were due to negligence by guards. Guards received little or no training or supervision. Corruption was a serious problem, and some guards cooperated with criminal bosses who oversaw the smuggling of guns and drugs into prisons."

Conditions are especially harsh in the country's maximum security prisons, which are extremely isolated geographically.

One of them, the Challapalca Prison, is in the Andes near the Bolivian border, at an altitude of 15,000 feet above sea level, about 211 kilometers from the nearest city of Puno - a six-hour ride down a dirt road, depending on conditions, according to a 2003 report on the facility by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

There is no regular electricity or running water, and temperatures most of the year hover around 33 degrees Fahrenheit in the day and as low as 4 degrees below zero at night, the report said.

Both organizations noted lengthy pretrial detention and inordinate trial delays in Peru - two areas that could concern van der Sloot if he is charged with a crime, which he has not been so far.

"According to a study prepared by the Technical Secretary of the Special Commission for Integral Reform of the Justice System, 61 percent of those in prison were awaiting trial, the majority for between one and two years," the State Department report said. "The law requires release of prisoners who have been held more than 18 months without being sentenced; the period is extended to 36 months in complex cases."

The report also noted the Peruvian government permitted prison visits by independent human rights observers, with the International Committee of the Red Cross making 44 unannounced visits in 2009.

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. John Doughboy

    To the fullest extent of the Law!!

    June 9, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. james

    well it is PRISON! Something we might look into in the USA. Where you get 3 squares a day, plus SNACKS, TV, hot water, medical, etc., etc

    June 9, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Steph

      Except in Arizona! Now they know how to run a jail there!

      June 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tashi

      Why can't we model a few jails in the US similar to the ones in Peru? Or better yet, send some of the hard core prisoners to the Peruvian jails and pay their government 1/10 of what we pay to keep these idiots locked up in the States. Let's see if we can get the crime rate down....

      June 15, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gman

    He was a spoiled brat with a father that is a lawyer, he always got what he wanted with tantrums and never learned self control. He searches and prays on women, and he is his own creation. His parents didn't help but he knows better is educated, and should pay the price. As far as the Lord shall decide its an eye for and eye a tooth for a tooth.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. truthtellernow

    I hope that people will now know not to visit Peru. If Peru is going to frame an innocent man like Jovan, imagine what they do to the average person. I am 100% certain that this guy is innocent. As for how he will handle prison, I think he will be just fine. He is about 6 foot 4 inches and over 220 pounds, the average peruvian is under 5 foot 6" and less than 150 pounds. Innocent until proven guilty, does that even ring a bell?

    I for one will make sure to avoid Peru on future vacations, I will still to countries like Argentina and Chile where this some level of due process.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • astonished

      Truthtellernow, WHO ARE YOU? You must be a friend/acquaintence of Joran – why else would you be 100% certain he is innocent? While I commend you on your loyalty, it is severely misplaced. The facts that are being released regarding the case so far, points to him as the perpetrator and we don't even know everything yet. If you are indeed a friend of his, your friendship would be better utilized by helping this arrogant, self-serving monster to acknowledge the pain he's caused to (probably) both families and pray for his (probably) condemned soul.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Stella70

      Are you insane? He already admitted it, he said how he did it and why. 100% innocent? Don't think so. In America, it's innocent until proven guilty. In many foreign countries, it's guilty until proven innocent. You're just a troll.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      U deserve to rot in hell with him u idiot.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Gonzalo

      Troll – avoid

      June 9, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      100% innocent? Really? Dude, you are hilarious! Stop smoking catnip...

      June 9, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Gman

      Moran he confessed, think about it troll.
      Lets see video of only them entering room, than he leave comes back, than leaves LATER, She is dead Bludgeoned, he is running, after not paying his hotel. (also a crime I might add) He has extorted money and has a warrant.
      Wow you must be a rocket scientist. Oh and as big as he is, 100 VS 1 He will lose, if he makes it that far.
      I am sure the parents of the girl he has killed have a contract with his name all over it.

      June 9, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      I am married to a peruvian woman. I am very proud of her and her country. I for one will make extra visits to thei country that will finaly dish out the justice the Dutch were afraid to do. GO PERU!!!!!!

      June 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      um...didn't he confess to killing her, how can he be 100% innocent? Not to mention he has, on video admitted to getting rid of the body of the hollway girl. If she died and it was an accident then call the authorities and get her to the hospital, then they can return her body to the US and her parents. No this dumbbutt totally crossed the line. It is better to be looked at and be able to say hey I called 911 and tried to get the girl some help, she died, i am sorry, but it was nothing i did then to just dispose of her body in the sea. Yet this young man can not figure out why people have no sympathy on him...go figure...yes Lord is our judge....but we reap as we sow, know that for certain...

      June 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • The_end4

      This guy is done, the next time we hear his name he will be 6 feet under... I will dare for him to touch one of them 5.5 foot inmates in the peruvian prison, before he can move a finger he will be in the ground with a broken face, and the guards will actually bid money on the 5.5 foot man to beat him up.
      HEY its South America Not the U.S. In the U.S going to jail is like a reward for comiting a crime
      u get food, tv, a gym a nice bed, healthcare and all the good stuff.. and the best part it is free.. I can tell u right now any prison in south america is going to be hell same as peru,s prison. The reason why is because they have other problems like starving children, poor people in the streets, education, etc... concidering all those problems, why should they invest in the prison system and not the starving kids and the inocent people that need that food and place to live..
      Hey for the record he is guily he said it him self.

      June 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • The_end4

      Hey I also noticed the 2 peruvian cops standing next to him dont seem that short concidering almost everybody is 5.5 in Peru......yeah he will do fine in peru he is going to be all big and mighty everybody is going to be so scared of him.......

      June 9, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      pssssst, he confessed. thanks, you are a sick individual. you Jorans mommy?

      June 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustSayNo

      People, people: Don't feed the trolls!

      June 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steph

      Are you off your rocker?

      June 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • zetta

      Exactly how are you related to this monster??????????? Just saying you must be to believe this idiot is not guilty

      June 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      truthtellernow... If you are his friend, why can't you get his name right? As to his guilt or innocence that remains for the 3 judge panel to decide. It doesn't look good for your boy. when he is convicted (I can't see him beating this case in any country) he will be properly punished under the law of the country where he commited the offense. As to his size and fighting abilities remember there are one of him and lots of them. that girls father will not let him escape further justice at the hands of his fellow prisoners. He has confessed. So much for his vaunted (by you) innocence. One way or another, in prison or out we all know that if someone wants you dead....oh,well. If you ask me any of those remedies are too good for this monster. I'd be careful who you tell you know and support this creep.
      You just might do.

      June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ken

      you are insane and a moron.f.u

      June 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Drop the soap.... often! Repeat step one.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. August

    To the commenters above; the Dutch Embassy did no such thing as complain, that was just in the press. There is nobody in the Netherlands who doesn't feel that Joran finally gets wat he deserves (and being Dutch I know what I am talking about) IIf a body of N. Holloway had been found they would have condemned him for the crime he committed. It is a sad thing that besides his mother (if even she) there is nobody in the world who isn't happy to see him go to the worst jail in Peru, a living hell. Our government has stated that it has no interest in interferring in any way in the Peruvian legal system and nobody is trying to get him out of that country.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Glynrd Skynrd

      I've wondered if he might try & plea bargain his way out of Peru, give evidence regarding Natalie that would get him extridited. While I would love her family to get some finality regarding their daughter I hope the US & Netherlands will not interfere w/ his prison time in Peru...

      June 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah

    This psychotic coward will suffer hell on earth and hell after death. There is no remorse for a monster of this caliber. My only hope is that he doesn't commit suicide or get killed in prison too soon....the more interrogation he suffer, the more he will tell about his past murders. Every victim's family deserves closure and justice. This evil thug has nothing to lose at this point.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ted

    Who cares about vander sloot? I hope he suffers worse than his victims did.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. chris s, san diego ca

    When we truly begin to awaken our own Christ or Buddha or whomever within, which is our souls only goal, we begin to find compassion for all sentient beings – including the Joran's of our society. It does not mean we don't smartly separate them from us, it means that we begin to replace that reptilian desire to watch them suffer with a deep compassion that seems to begin as a sadness for their life situation. Imagine being Joran? Start there.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • tgt

      Poe or fool? This one's tough.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustSayNo

      @ tgt: "OM!" LOL

      June 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      LET HIM COME AND LIVE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IF YOU'RE SO FORGIVING. Since God is not here to judge him we poor humans will have to do it for HIM. Some people are demons in the flesh and should be destroyed upon discovery. This is what we have here. Fortunately the Peruvian government is not as nieve as you seem to be. I would venture you asking how do his victims feel?

      June 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Baloun

      Imagine being Joran, Im trying but I cant. I cannot possibly understand how someone can take another life. I try and try to wrap my brain around it, but to actually kill another human being..I cant put myself in those shoes. I understand where your coming from but for me its impossible to be able to have any empathy for someone who can KILL another human..I dont get it.

      June 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. August

    Oh and on the speculation above: he confessed to manslaughter because he probably killed her for the money she had on her. The guy is a psychopath. He cried during his confession; he only does things that are in his interest. To kill somebody in sudden anger might get him 6 years, kill somebody and rob them gets him 35. The guy has no morals and no concsience.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. August

    If the Dutch government really wants to do something for van der Sloot they should send him a spare car-tire to sit on. (stole this joke from a Dutch forum)

    June 9, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Dakota

    I pretty much doubt that he will have to be among the notorious inmates in one of the Peru prisons. The world is watching? Not really, it's the US, Caribbean and Dutch media. I am in Germany, not one single line in the media about him. But – the media, Amnesty International etc are watching, if the guy get's killed while waiting for his day in court it will be a disaster for Peru PR, reputation. So, I think he will get some sort of protection – quote me on that in 3 month's time.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pete

    Too bad for Urine. I'm not going to get all weepy for him, or Berensen (terrorist). you go to another country and cause problems, you get what you deserve. Berensen should still be in jail there, and Urine should spend the rest of his life in prison there.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ducklady1

    Could this creep get out of actually going to one of these prisons? What i mean is,if he confesses and shows where Natalee Holloways (sic) body is,Could he be extricicted to Aruba and get a better prison there? Bet his wheels are turning

    June 9, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • hannah17

      good question....i was just thinking the same thing..

      June 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DOUG jOHNSON

    Why are we dwelling on this low life? Theres a video, they found her bloody clothes on him and he confessed, its done.
    As for 35 years, 10 if he is good, thats long enough. Listen the kid is not going to have it that rough there. Pretty boy will be passed around for ciggeretes and will be protected by his current husband at the time. By the time the US gets him he will be used, abused, infected and already have a death sentenace. Lets do something more productive, pray for the victems famlies. Vander bend over Soot is not worth thining about......

    June 9, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • tgt

      Did you just imply prayer is productive? Sheesh.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7