The day after the inmates addressed the public about the misleading information the Rio Arriba County Detention Center told the Rio Grande SUN concerning the inmates’ protection against COVID-19, Timmy Gallegos began an array of harassment directed at the inmates who wrote to the SUN.

    Since the publication of our letter, the inmates are being hit with verbal harassment, belittlement, destruction of our property and revoked privileges, which we had earned.

    Timmy belittled inmates by his words and actions. He began the day by yelling at us, “llorar y llorar” (cry and cry).

    He said, “Here’s a mop, you guys got 30 minutes to clean.” There was no bleach, no rags, no toilet brush, or even a broom.

    After 45 minutes Timmy came in with an aerosol can and asked where he should spray. The supervisor did not know what or where to spray disinfectant.

    He and other employees verbally abused us. Even Timmy’s girlfriend Lindy said, “Go tell the lawyers.”

    The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution states we have the right to freedom of speech, press and religion.

    Slavery is not dead. Inmates here are used to clean halls, wash cloths, clean grounds, pick up trash, paint and clean the pods, even jump into a sewer and change the motors inside. I’ve cleaned the sewer and seen the backhoes load feces in the North Central Solid Waste Authority trash bins.

    Inmates have been forced to clean the COVID-19 quarantine pod.

    An officer told me he had been forced to clean the quarantine pod also. We won’t name him because we believe he will be harassed also. He is willing to speak and says the way we are treated is wrong.

    Every other detention facility in the country pays the working inmate. They’re called porters and paid for their work. We want the ACLU to help us receive justice.

    Picture one toilet for 20 inmates for over two years. Flood lights stay on for five months straight, while in other areas it’s total darkness for weeks. Both are a form of torture.

    Inmates are not slaves and our lives matter. We have a lot more to say and we want to call but are afraid.

    Randy Romero, Chris Chacon, Eric Herrera, Mark Hice, Michael Rivas, Max Rivas, Angelo Moquino, Alberto Quientero, Brenton Rael, Albert Vigil, Juan Gallegos, Thomas Hores, Leroy Fresquez

(1) comment


It’s well known that the Rio Arriba jail is a total trash can in terms of their employees and practices.

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