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Kavitha Dispatch

Get Political, Go to Jail!

High on a hilltop near Lake Titicaca is the Yanamayo prison. It sits at over 12,000 feet in altitude. The prisoners are locked in very cold cells with only bars for windows. The frozen ground makes it impossible to dig a tunnel.

What do you have to do to get sent here?

N O T H I N G !

The majority of Yanamayo's 600 prisoners were never given a fair trial.
Click image for larger view
This is Peru's version of Alcatraz (only it's worse!).
Learn more about Yanamayo at Revolutionary Prisoners in Peru

I had heard of this prison from friends I have met on my travels in Peru, but seeing the huge building, surrounded by barbed wire and guards patrolling with guns, brought those stories to reality for me. (Sorry, they don't take kindly to foreigners taking photos, so I don't have any!)

For many years there was a war in Peru. The government wanted to stop the people who were fighting against them and killing lots of people. So they made special prisons for these people. And to make it easier to put them in jail, they changed the laws so it would be very hard for these people to defend themselves in court.

But because the laws were changed so much and it was so easy to put people in jail, now there are lots of people in jail who never did anything.

In our time in Peru I have learned of the great pain and the struggles of the Peruvian people. I am on my way to another country now, Bolivia, but I will always think of my friends here and hope that their lives improve.


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