Conditions in prisons
Sir, – It is right that the Government be asked to intervene to ensure that two women in Peru receive proper bedding and food in prison (Declan Roche, August 22nd).
However, our concern should not be limited to these two people. Throughout Latin America prison conditions are abysmal and the requirement to pay for food and bedding is common. Overcrowding is chronic, which has led to fires such as the one that took place in Honduras killing numerous prisoners. However, the European governments loudly proclaim the democratic credentials of these same governments and co-operate with them on all “justice” matters.
The problem is not what is happening to these two women, but what is happening to the millions in prison throughout Latin America, many of whom are, like the two women, on remand. But don’t hold your breath, the Government is not particularly renowned for standing up to such countries or even defending its citizens when they are at risk, a situation I have bitter personal experience of, though in my case it was not related to alleged criminal activity but to my human rights work. – Yours, etc,
GEARÓID Ó LOINGSIGH,