The Cocaine Diaries: A Venezuelan Prison Nightmare by Paul Keany

The Cocaine Diaries: A Venezuelan Prison Nightmare by Paul Keany

Author:Paul Keany
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
Published: 2012-06-07T04:00:00+00:00

Chapter 14

LOCKDOWN

I WAS SURE THERE WOULD BE SOME FALLOUT FROM THE SHOOT-OUT – AND there was. A few days later we got the news. It would mean my life getting even smaller. A lucero walked into the yard and stood up on top of a paint tin after número. We all turned to look. He started speaking, but I just stood there clueless as usual. A few minutes later I walked over to Silvio and he filled me in. ‘Nobody leaves the wing till further notice, that’s what he says.’

‘Not even to Spanish classes?’

‘Nowhere; we can’t go out.’ He explained that one of the inmates in Wing 1 got a bullet in the shoot-out. Probably courtesy of the jefes in Maxima who were shooting out of our wing door in their direction. The garita lookout in our cell block had seen one of the lags getting carried out of Wing 1 after the shoot-out ended, slumped over the shoulder of another inmate. He later died of the injuries. This was bad news. Wing 1 would be looking to settle the score. The cell-block bosses knew it, and that’s why we had to batten the hatches and lie low.

But still, to me, it was pure bad luck for the guy that he got killed. There was no marksmanship in the shoot-out. The bosses were just all blind shooting. They didn’t seem to know that bullets didn’t go around corners or through doors and walls.

So now we paid the price with a lockdown. I felt Los Teques starting to get even smaller. Now the only time we could leave the wing was to go to the canteen. The kitchen workers from our wing even had to be escorted from Maxima up the passageway by a cop to get them there safely. Some started sleeping there to avoid the perilous walk back. A shooter could appear from anywhere. I noticed the bread rolls in the mornings were all bow-shaped and flattened – the inmates in the cantina who had no colchonetas there had kipped on bags of rolls the night before.

But despite the lockdown, the killings didn’t stop. Executions went on. One morning I was walking back from the canteen with Silvio and a few others and we came across a body on the ground in the passageway. The inmate was lying on his side, his eyes open yet lifeless, his tongue dangling out. It was a weird sight I’ll never forget, and nothing like dead bodies you see in movies. A pool of dark blood had formed around his stomach, blotching his vest. He looked like he was in his early 20s and was dressed in shorts. ‘Jesus, look,’ I said, pointing at him. It was a horrible sight, but I stopped and looked in the same way people slow down to see a traffic accident.

‘Keep going,’ said Silvio, pushing me on. There wasn’t a cop in sight, but if you stuck around you might get blamed for the killing.

We all gathered out in the yard.



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