Hambi Prison Story from Nicaragua
Hitchhiking down across Central America to Panama seemed easy with no documents or id. Turning back and heading back North previously hidden migration reality quickly became apparent: all the borders crossed from Arizona to Panama City were one directional as far as nobody seeming to care for documents when people were heading from the Rich North to the Poor South. The global repressive immigration policies were quickly obvious when trying to get back north from the south though. US and UN has been for decades paying each country and regime in a region a sum for each illegal immigrant captured and detained on their soil, as it is now done by EU in Libya and Turkey, externalizing the issues and preventing people to get even close to their shores and borders allowing them to maintain a narrative that the problem does not exist or is not as large as it is in reality.
When busted in Nicaragua I was put in a very small border town jail,in a cell with a sink and a bed, luxuries I was told were reserved for resting police drivers and tourists. – I stopped eating as the idea of being held for not having papers and wanting to be free seemed so fucked up. On about 3~4 day of not eating I woke up to wash my face, when getting up or moving I was begging to feel dizzy: I leaned against the sink to brace myself – The sink did not take my weight very well, it detached from the wall and crushed on the floor loudly shuttering into small chunks of fine porcelain. Still looking at this and wondering WTF?, the jail cell door opened and several jailers grabbed me quickly and dragged me out and threw me into one of their normal cells. This one looked really different, the walls were just dark concrete covered by mold, there was no sink no toilet just a concrete slab for a bed with an old torn blanket for cover. Looking at the walls, one corner was wet and covered with algae, there in a floor was a small hole punched out and that was the toiled, the sink and the shower as right obove in the ceiling protruded just a knob for turning the water on with it gashing out of another small hole in the ceiling.
The whole jail had only bars in the doors so it would become very lively after the prison guards locked up the outside doors and turned off the lights. Every evening there were the anti-paternalistic yells of “Papa fuerra a la Caje!” (“Papa out on a street”), lots of machete humor and at the very end loud clapping which I though was done for special effect. It was not. When the lights went out a wave of large shit crazed sewer roaches emerged from the sewer hole in the floor. In their search for better source of protein they would immediately sink their mandibles into all laying down. The bite was much like that of a horse fly and even though every body tried to smash them on their own skin, they were so fast and agile and their biting such a valiant “hit and run action” that I don’t think anybody managed to kill a single roach. Perhaps this was also not blood sucking attack at all but a message from the ancient Jungle forest of the Devonian and Jurassic that once covered the planet. “Fuck You!” they seemed to be saying “Once our lush forests covered this planet with their floors being covered not with concrete but with our dinner tables and homes, now with only few surviving omnivores remaining in great numbers, all omnivores like yourselves and like us: pigs, rats and pigeons names of all of which you also consider to be insults! This is the payback Humans! One day the Forests will grow again!!” Running into the darkness with a piece of human flesh in their mandibles, into the dark corners to watch, wait, and to strike again….
Couple days later the sink was fixed and I was moved back into the “luxurious” cell again. Coming from the Global North responsible for most pollution and extraction and their ecological and social effects and yet insulated from it by privilege even in jail. Two different legal systems and realities for those that represent or come from the North and another one for those that do not. Just as RWE executives and people that help them are not being persecuted nor are their in jail for the planetary damage they are causing, for millions of premature deaths their emissions are resulting in and for hundreds and millions suffering from Climate Chaos, nor for even the monetary damages they inflicted on local communities and investing in them municipalities. Quite to the contrary they are enjoying luxury, privilege and large profits while the HambiFour continue to be detained, imprisoned and legally fucked with in NRW prisons. The Hambi4 might not be bitten every night by sewer roaches but the roaches are there as well: patiently watching and observing from the dark corners, waiting to strike the monsters who turned their lush bio-diverse global forest into a labyrinth of pipes and shit.. and now still not satisfied who are turning the whole planet into more and more of the same…
In solidarity with the cockroaches….