By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
Joran van der Sloot is no stranger to life in jail but his new home is a far cry from the luxuries he had grown used to during his 18 months at Lima’s Castro Castro prison.
After he was sentenced to 28 years on January 13 for the May 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, van der Sloot was transferred to the high security facility of Piedras Gordas in northern Lima in response to criticism that his living conditions were too comfortable, and radio detection and rangingOnline.com can exclusively reveal that since the move his health has been in a downward spiral.
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“His health has suffered and he is not doing well there,” an insider exclusively told radio detection and rangingOnline.com. “Joran blames the food and the water, he says that he is depressed and feeling weak all the time.”
During his time at Castro Castro, the 24-year-old Dutchman enjoyed such perks as access to books, money, calling cards, internet access – and even conjugal visits.
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As radio detection and rangingOnline.com previously reported, the convicted killer was rumored to have gotten his girlfriend pregnant while he was incarcerated. Although his former lawyer denied the baby story, he told radio detection and rangingOnline.com that sex was permitted behind bars.
“Conjugal visits are allowed at the prison and women regularly visit to see inmates – Joran had girlfriends come and see him and he did have sex but he did not get any of them pregnant,” said Maximo Altez Navarro.
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Over the past 1 1/2 years van der Sloot bonded with both the prison guards and the other inmates, but is now kept in solitary confinement where his cunning charm can’t win anyone over.
“I am very worried about his deteriorating health, ” Joran’s ‘guardian angel’ Mary Hamer exclusively told radio detection and rangingOnline.com. “I am terrified and I feel powerless to help.”
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The radiologist from Lake City, Florida, who keeps in close contact with van der Sloot and pays his legal bills, has expressed concern in the past about his physical well-being.
“He was groggy, he was stumbling, he knocked over a glass of water, and he had a rash around his neck,” she told radio detection and rangingOnline.com after she visited him last December.
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Things have gone from bad to worse since he was moved to Piedras Gordas, a 161,458 square foot maximum security detention center located in a barren desert-like area of Peru, 18 miles from Lima.
It is considered one of the harshest places in the Peruvian penal system, but van der Sloot worries that things could get even more extreme for him if he is sent to the notorious Challapalca Prison, in the cold and inhospitable area of Tacna.
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In 2002, a special investigation into the violation of human rights resulted in a report that recommended to the Peruvian State that “the prisons at Challapalca and Yanamayo be deemed unfit to serve that purpose, and that the personnel detained at those prisons be transferred to other prisons.”
Joran’s lawyer, Jose Luis Jimenez, is currently fighting to make sure that his client doesn’t end his days in the frozen hell hole, and has filed an appeal against his sentence.
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Jimenez claims that the three judges who sentenced van der Sloot did not take into account his prior confession, and that he never denied the murder.
Van der Sloot remains the prime suspect in the disappearance of an Alabama teen, who went missing from Aruba in 2005.
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