We help spread the message of those being wrong and need to get their voice out. Prohibition wins when good people get lost in a system, its bad enough our American judicial system is a shit show but can you imagine being locked up in a foreign country for cannabis? The following is a message from activist Clay Pierce who has been imprisoned for cannabis in El Salvador.
Clay’s Message From A Site Supporting His Freedom (link)
Clay is in deep shit and needs the help of his friends. He is stuck in a hellish jail in El Salvador, unfairly being accused of being an international drug smuggler and now being treated as a mentally ill prisoner. All because they do not understand his pleas for help in English. Read this for yourself.
The following letter was received this morning from Clay’s El Salvadoran attorney. It is hard to read. A few of us are doing what we can for Clay, but even this help is being held up. Understand, our lawyer, and her paralegal/translator, Ricardo, have driven out to the jail over and over again, only to be refused a visit with their client. They eventually filed an action in court to order their admittance to the jail. And still, the jail has blocked their visits. Now they are blocking his access to the funds we sent his way.
Clay is in the type of jail where if you are not being fed by your family you essentially starve. This one does not provide mattresses.You have to buy your mattress and bedding. Clay is sleeping on the floor. Upon admittance, to jail, he was denied his prescribed pain medications and forced into precipitous opiate withdrawal without medical supervision. He is sick from withdrawal, sick from the nasty conditions and in much pain. The jail is only giving him Naproxen, which might quickly destroy his stomach. A month into this hellish scenario, bureaucracy continues to keep us unable to get Clay money into his Commissary account so he can eat properly.
On top of all this, they observe Clay’s pleading for help in a language they don’t understand and see him as mentally ill. Now they are forcing psychiatric drugs on Clay. Read it from his lawyer, below.
Clay really needs some of his tech friends to help create a website and social media campaign to raise international attention on these issues. We also need some Spanish speakers to help us with translations. Anyone with any contacts in El Salvador is urged to contact us. If you can help, please write: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to specify the details in regards to Mr. Pierce’s condition inside the “La Esperanza” Penitentiary.
1) Personal conditions & abuses: His personal condition, as anybody could think, is a very difficult one. He stated numerous times that his medicine is being cut-off. All the prescription drugs (medicine) has been restricted for use and has been assigned different type of medicine, the name of the medicine he is taking for his chronic pains is naproxen, which he took several years ago but doesn’t have the same effect as the medicine he takes for his chronic pains, like the morphine sulfate.
He emphasized that he is been sleeping on the floor due to the overcrowding and that yesterday he wasn’t able to sleep due to the pains he has in his back, which were addressed in previous emails. He said that some inmates tried to help him and mend his back but it didn’t do anything at all.
As far as for his medical treatment, he stated that this is the first time in his life that he is been treated as a mental patient. He has been given psychiatric medication due to the break downs he has had in this current time. The physicians, without a proper evaluation, started giving this type of medicine and proceeded to treat him with this type of medication. Mr Pierce fears that taking this type of this medicine can damage his health in the long term because he never had to use it in the first place.
He strongly stated that he didn’t need a psychiatrist, he needs a physiotherapist.
An inmate gave him some glasses in order to read and has a Spanish–English dictionary in order to communicate to clinic officials and some others, but communication to him is limited because the penitentiary officials do not speak English or have very limited English skills. Sometimes he has been pressured and ordered to do things quickly and cannot see his dictionary so at least, the proper communication is being secured.
The glasses are not suited for him. He stated that he needed 2+ or 3+ glasses in order to properly read. Using the inappropriate type of glasses can damage the eyesight.
Stress has been a relevant issue for Mr. Pierce. He stated that in the facility people are always praying in a very loud manner, so having a tranquil and quiet environment has been a key inconvenience to him. Because of this and other aspects of his forced mental treatment, overcrowding, and small spaces, he, and for obvious reasons, his personal peace has been taken away.
Because of his breakdowns, he stated that some other inmates have made fun of him stating that he is gay, but he doesn’t care less about it. His “cell boss” told him to always remain calm inside the facility, with no problems between inmates.
What is very concerning is the treatment that he has received from the guards. He is always handcuffed when he is taken to his prison cell, and also when he is being taken to the clinic or the toilet. He told us about a scenario where he was taken to the toilet in order to do his necessities while he was having diarrhea, the guard was pushing him and pressing to go out of the toilet as soon as possible, so because of this, he messed up his clothing and when he finally came out of the toilet, he was mocked by the guard who was watching for him.
Also, another similar scenario happened lately, where he was taken to the yard in order to do his necessities. His clothes were taken off and started to do his necessities in front of the guards, he was given newspaper in order to clean himself up and was mocked again.
Mr. Pierce stated that the guards are too authoritarian and believe with any minor sign of protest he can be hit or treated badly. At this very moment, he has not been hit but has been abused showed in the aforementioned paragraphs.
With all these scenarios exposed, Mr. Pierce doesn’t have any spiritual peace and finds contradicting everything that he is living as now, like stating that he never once was a prisoner in the U.S or in Colombia (where he was heading to), and also that questions the religiosity of the other inmates and the conditions that he and them are. Something that surprised me most, is because of all this pressure, that he wants to die. We told him that there are people doing everything in their power in order to help him and that we had inconveniences in order to get to him.
Also, he stated that because he is a technician, he wanted to have any kind of authorization in order to assist and repair things inside the prison, so we will be looking forward to filing an authorization to the director to the prison, and authorize Mr. Pierce for repairing and have activities inside the facility.
2) Medication: Although I already mentioned that he is being treated as mental patient without being one his entire life, he said that he is afraid that he cannot take a special hormone for his usual behavior, which is testosterone. Without this hormone, he would behave like, according to his words, a “scared rabbit”. His supply of medicine is low as well, so getting the inappropriate type of medicine is highly likely to happen to him.
3) Communication with the exterior: Getting communication with the exterior is also one of his main concerns for Mr. Pierce. He is afraid that his mother died in this current month, because she is 87 years of age and didn’t have any communication whatsoever with her. Before we were coming to see him, he told us that an inmate was going to borrow him his phone in order to make a phone call, and the only number he could remember by that time was his mother’s phone number, with the hope of having his mother to communicate with Mr. Stanford and inform of his situation.
He was strongly concerned about his business initiatives in Colombia as well his personal relationships. He stated that he wanted to get married in December or at least see his girlfriend in December in vacations, and not see him in this conditions while in detention.
We provided three phone numbers so he could make some calls: Mr. Stanford’s, Mr. Wirtshafter’s and Mr. Andrew Pierce’s. He said that he also wanted the phone number of Mrs. Alba Diaz, but by the time of today’s visit, I didn’t have any idea of this person.
Another inconvenience is that phone calls to the exterior, even though are national calls or international phone calls, they are limited for three minutes.
4) Personal obligations: Mr. Peirce emphasized that he is extremely worried about his personal credits in the United States. He said that he has two debits with two banks, one being with the U.S Bank and another with the Chase Manhattan Bank. The difficulty of getting the information related to his accounts is that his personal belongings, like debit cards or credit cards, are under police seizure, so he didn’t have any of this information available.
He is afraid that because he cannot deal with his personal obligations and that his credit rating will be dramatically ruined.
He gave us his social security number, which is xxx-xx–xxxx. I put this number because it might help with this issue. I clearly state that I don’t want to put this number for any other reason, only to assist Mr. Pierce in what I can.
5) Legal strategy for Mr. Pierce’s case: Mr. Pierce got the inaccurate information that he would be in the facility from 6-9 months. We clarified to him that such scenario would not happen. The investigation period is for three months, which ends on February 21st of 2018, then the next hearing comes.
Obviously, our plan is to get a special hearing, which is a procedural measures review hearing (audiencia especial de revisión de medidas). The intent of this hearing is to show the health risks of Mr. Pierce as for remaining in detention and also show, through proper documentation, that he was only in transit in El Salvador, and that the cannabis he had with him, has a legal status in Colorado and Colombia, and also that the possession of this was only for medical purposes, not trafficking.
We told him once we had the documentation, we would present the request, wait for three days and have the approval of the hearing. Once the hearing is approved, the hearing would be scheduled and in this hearing, we will state what the documents are needed for and will be our opportunity to get Mr. Pierce out of detention and have him face the process under liberty. Other measures will be specified, like visiting the court every x amount of days, not leaving the country or any other less restrictive measure the judge considers.
6) PIN number: One of the things that we will fight in order to get, is his personal PIN number. His PIN number is required so we can make direct deposits for him and secure that he can buy food or any other object he considers necessary while in detention. Our biggest surprise was that nobody gave him his PIN number, and told us that we would provide it to him. So after the visit, we proceeded to go to “control one”, which is a special office in the prison where they assist the family visits.
This control one office had the issue that, because Mr. Pierce doesn’t have any family members, they didn’t know what to do or if the lawyer or someone else can be affiliated to the system and make the deposits. They said because this case was a “sui generis case”, that they would have to require the director of the prison for authorization for affiliating someone. So, what we are going to do is file a request stating that we need to get his PIN number and designate me or Mrs Trejo (because she is the lawyer) for making the deposits.
I will look forward through other ways in order to quicken the availability of the PIN number.
This will be a summary in regards to the visit. He repeated many topics and stayed with him for an hour. Our primary moves would be getting the documentation for the alternative measures hearing for Mr. Pierce and also getting his PIN number.
If there are any questions, please feel free to write me or contact me