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. obamagirl38

    Sometimes Karma come back really strong!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • tgt

      So Flores was a bad person?

      Karma. I don't think that words means what you think it means.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brianINmesa

    I personnally hope he is not killed in prision. If the family of the murdered feels differently – so be it. Regardless of how he spends the rest of his life he should not be allowed to leave a locked facility – he is nuts!

    June 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A. Uction

    Come on!! Stephany did not know Dutch! Joran's computer was all in Dutch! There was no way she was reading his computer!! She knew English and Spanish!
    Joran is lying again like his first story in Aruba about the black security me ne was blaming.
    Now he is blaming his victim for getting information from his computer that she cannot read or understand!!
    I hope this glaring lie comes out in the reenactment if the Police take his Dutch language computer to the scene and forces Joran to open it and explain how a woman who knew no Dutch could be getting into his business.. Getting so much into his business that he was driven to prevent her from leaving room ( kidnapping) and killing her for viewing pages that were in a foreign language to her!
    This is not a confession, just an opportunity for Joran to add more charges against him and more years to serve!

    June 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • zetta

      Ummmmmm, very good point, hadnt thought about the fact it would be in Dutch. Very Good, hats off. Surely they aren't believing everything he is saying. Please tell me they arent.

      June 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Holly Golightly

    I agree with AshahsMommy! I am pretty liberal, and I'm certainly for human rights. However, we coddle VIOLENT criminals too much in this country! Going to jail should not be a vacation! Joran should be punished for his atrocious acts! May God see that he is! My heart goes out to Stephany's and Natalee's families! RIP ladies...

    June 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Holly Golightly

    truthtellernow, what are you smoking????!!!!! you must be Joran playing on his infamous laptop! How the flip could you be 100% certain that anything didn't happen, unless you were there??? the rodent confessed to the murder of both women!!

    June 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lisa

    I don't understand why the media isn't showing a videotape when Van Der Sloot went out for the coffee and returned back to his room. Again, this inhuman Van Der Sloot is a pathological liar. Doesn't the store he went to have a surveillance camera? It makes no sense that Stephany would get on his computer and then not leave after finding out he was a killer. He is lying and it doesn't not add up. Was she drugged? May she rest in peace.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • tgt

      He comes back while she is finding out.

      He walks in the door, gets freaked at what she has open, and then she realizes what it is.

      The story might be BS, but it certainly conceivable.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • toejam

      Of course he's lying. This type of person lies as easily and carelessly as any normal person would take a drink of water, and have no second thoughts about it.

      June 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • ALJ

      American prisons should be this harsh, it would give new meaning to the phrase, "you do the crime, you do the time."

      This psychopath is a pathological liar, he has done nothing but lie for 5 years. I too find it really strange that Ms. Flores would have had that much time to peruse his laptop to find out information on him.

      The other creepy thing is that after he killed her, he would have had to take a shower which would mean he was walking all around her desecrated body.

      No we are not God, yet this is the first blog page i have read where almost every comment is in agreement.

      As to the Peruvian officials – have at it!

      A skinny blonde kid in a third world prison for murdering a countrywoman – just make him suffer, torture him slowly and for a long period of time. Kill him slowly with no mercy. Afterall he didn't show any to Ms. Holloway or Ms. Flores!

      May God hold both of you girls in the palm of his hands along with your families!

      June 10, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Samantha

    some of you need to remember you are not god, i hope the legal system plays out and he gets many years behind bars. but its never our job to kill or wish for anothers death, regardless how evil they are.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • toejam

      Depends on what god you are talking about, sister. FDAU and the world will turn 🙂

      June 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • E. Russell

      well Samantha..i hope no one murders you!!!!!!!

      June 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Samantha

    Lisa, sounds to me like she was reading on his laptop when he walked in on her, at that point there was no escape.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jake nagan

    i wish van der sloot perish in hell..... he is a monster....they should send him to diferent country to face death penalty which is the appropriate punishment he deserved..may he perish in that prison

    June 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pixenees

    Hope he rot in hell, and then some!!!! SOB, how cold harded, look at the video, him leaving the room after killing her, Better keep your back to wall, the guys might just have some fun with you.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tee pee

    HE IS A PURE EVIL, HIS MOTHER AND FATHER SHOULD CUT TIES WITH THAT EVIL CHILD THEY BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD! And if they know something... they deserve to go down with their child as well!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lewy

    Welcome home, Slooty.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BigMammaAZ

    Justice in PERU? Si se puede! Peruvian Gov do what you need to do and fast! Do not play politics! Just justice for those two young women and their families.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ekek

    I would image he was tortured in order to get that confession. Something that wasn't done in Aruba since he had connections into the Police, ie his Dad. No one feels sorry for him.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MM

    The Florez family is and has been highly recognized, powerful and respected. Peruvian inmates will be waiting anxiously in line for their chance at him... 5'5" and all its a whole buch of them. Its relatively easy to speak about forgiveness until the tragedy is upon you. Truth and Mercy, he's all on his own now.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7