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. Scott S

    All I have to say to this prison sentence he will mostly likely receive is " He's about to be someone's prison Beatch " lol

    June 9, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Grider

    He wont make it. unless his momma moves to peru and brings him soup everyday. even then I doubt he will make it , they will play with him and eat him for breakfast. now he will feel the pain of the familes of the poor girls.... and GIRLS stop getting high or drunk-that you dont know who you step out with! he is not the only idiot out there,

    June 9, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Victoria

    Although what he did is beyond horrible and painful, let's not all forget that we, humans, are all capable of evil. Refrain from judgement, look inside yourselves and ask just how noble you are. My condolences to the Flores family.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • alex

      victoria, if ur heart bleaks 4 him then why dont u go wid him and stay there for a while... ( just on humanity ground )... tht wud be his victory..................

      June 9, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Victoria, I am noble enough to know that you don't go around killing young girls for fun..Serial killers are not human..They deserve no respect, sympathy or tears..The sooner they execute this jerk the better off the world will be.. Put yourself in the shoes of the families of these girls..what if he had killed your child ?

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

      You are not what you are capable of. You are what you do.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ALJ

      Victoria, your compassion is admirable, but doesn't the bible call for and eye for an eye etc...

      Jim, well said, very well said.

      As for the quick confession, if the PNP did anything physical to him they sure are excellent, not a scratch, bruise or anything else on is face. If there was I am sure the Dutch Console would have made it known by now.

      To the Dutchman who feel the same way the rest of us do, don't worry, Aruba is the country looking bad right now not you.

      June 10, 2010 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. wcb2009

    I think that Aruban prison is looking pretty good to Joran right now... Should have confessed the first time.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Abel

    Joran is soooo going to have to enjoy those burly big daddies in the Peruvian prison system!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Abel

      By the way, is he allowed to ask for a ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT within the prison system facilities? Perhaps with HBO-satellite and Internet connection?

      June 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. alex

    wow!!!......... this is the right time, hes d rite person 2 waterboard.........waterboard him until he reveals everything about natalee holloway..............

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. wcb2009

    Victoria – Ok. I looked. Can we string him up now?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. justice

    Wasn't this kid's Dad a JUDGE!!!! When the Judges, lawyers and other governing officials stop thinking that they and their families are ABOVE THE LAW, maybe there will be justice in the world. I'm sure his JUDGE Dad made sure there was no evidence to convict his son in the Natalie Holloway case....if his Above the Law Judge Dad did his job according to the oath he took then the Flores Family would have their daughter/sister back and this serial murderer would have been jailed 5 years ago. How many people got PAID OFF TO LOSE EVIDENCE OR THREATENED WITH LOSS OF JOB from the JUDGE. I guess in the end God will decide the justice when our own Judicial System is corrupt....Dads dead/sons gonna rot in Peruvian jail....that's justice but it still doesn't bring back Natalie or Stephany God rest their souls.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carla

    As a Dutch person, I am quite sure that the only person who wants Joran to be treated well... is his mother.
    The general Dutch population think his punishment can not be severe enough.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LilRdVet2

      Thank you Carla...your comments are being repeated time and again, across the web by other Dutch citizens...it's a shame Aruba didn't deal with this lowlife 5 years ago...Stephany would still be alive...

      June 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • tgt

      I think they tried, but they just didn't have the goods on him. Peru has the goods, so there shouldn't be a repeat.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryK

      Carla, thank you for your candor.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    I'm an American living in lima Peru. He confessed because he can get a lighter sentence and he saying she looked in his lap top to get away again with less time, Im peru if he can convince it was not preplanned he can get 6years max and be out in less then 3. This is just so wrong in so many ways . But not to worry Lima has the worst jails in south America . He will for sure be someones lady in jail

    June 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. william

    He will enjoy the law of the donkey in peruvian jail, after all those inmates have daughters and they don't like a piece of crap walk around freely. And the stephany's father is a very rich man. He surely will enjoy using pampers forever.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • LilRdVet2

      Law of the donkey? Explain (cleanly) please...I keep hearing this...I think I know...but want to be sure...thanks!

      June 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. frank from florida

    I figure he'll last as long as Jeffrey Dahmer lasted, about 3 or 4 years before some inmate wants to be a hero.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. william

    Maybe this link can explain the law of the donkey in peruvian jails,

    June 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. toejam

    It seems to me that Joran van der Sloot is likely a sociopath, and does not fear prison – even a very harsh prison – the way a normal person would. He may think he will get off the hook or escape, as he believes he is much more intelligent than everyone else. Just look at the taunting: Natalee Holloway was killed on May 30th, Stephany Ramírez murdered exactly 5 years later... van der Sloot said that he would reveal the location of the Holloway girl's body in exchange for cash. He got cash, never revealed the location and took off to South America – only to murder an innocent young girl. I would imagine there are many more young lives this twisted psycho has taken between 2005 and now, and probably before. Hopefully, the killing stops now.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    God hates sin...we are to hate it as well. Hating the man who committed the sin is natural to us, but the vengeance will be from God eternally. We must never forget sin left to fester gives birth to greater sin and eventually death. It rots the soul and eventually makes it 'easy' to kill. We ALL need protection from this darkness through prayer and the Holy Spirit.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • toejam

      God made us all to be just like Him. So if we're dumb, then God's dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side lmfao

      June 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
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