After spending fourteen years behind bars, an ex-convict has come forth to share his experience within the Belize Central Prison. 42-year-old Trevor Pascasio went to prison in 1996 for murder which was later downgraded to manslaughter. Within those fourteen years, he escaped once in an attempt to avoid the alleged inhumane treatment at the Belize Central Prison. Today, Pascasio walked us through fifteen years of brutality, abuse, and misconduct by prison officers during his time in prison.
Trevor Pascacio, Former Convict: “Those men brutalize us crazy. Pepper spray, they beat you with ziricote sticks. It boils down that on the first of November 2007 when an inmate was killed Gilroy Wade, he was killed by another inmate he was shot in the head. Police came with the officers and just started beating men in the prison. Just beat you, bust you up. I got beat so bad that when they were done beating me I couldn’t get up. One of the officers ,I think he already died, he asked the man “What do I do with the man boss?” he said “Give him some more.” and they started beating me again. I don’t know where the strength came from but I got up. We were beaten bad but I was the one that they took to the medic center on the stretcher and brought back to Supermax. Four months I didn’t walk. The discs in my back are busted. See I have the scars to show. My forehead if you check the picture before I went to prison I didn’t have this bust here they split opened this. From my leg here if you notice a split is here a muscle runs from here to your leg that burst from inside. I live in pain. I live in pain. I go to sleep at night the same thing plays over- I dream the same thing that I’ve gone through. I wake up soaking wet with sweat. I came out of prison, I explained to certain people and nobody studied. If you leave a man in a cell for seventeen months because that is what I did at Supermax, seventeen months after they caught me after I escaped. I escaped, came out here I haven’t committed a crime because that wasn’t the intention I just needed to get away from them. When they recaptured me the licks I took. One day I was sitting down in my cell – because they locked me up in the cell my key stayed at Mr.—–‘s office. You know what it is to be sitting down in your cell trying to rehabilitate yourself reading a book and they just come with a sheet of steel and weld that on your wicket with you in there ? You think that is humane ? To do a person ? And that is what they did to me. Many brethrens have gone through it but they’re afraid to come out.”
Having had the experience as a prisoner, Pascasio spoke on the current issue a the prison and recent mass escape.
Trevor Pascacio, Former Convict: “I want when the children hear about what I went through they just don’t want to commit crime because to beat a man and leave him for dead, give him poison to eat, lock him up in a cell seventeen months, come back and put a sheet of steel on his ricket and weld it there with him in there make a little hole to put your gallon out you don’t come out for anything- seventeen months you do in there. When you come out from there they put you in another punishment cell for three more months. I got to sleep I dream all those things over, wake up frightened so I know it traumatized me but my mind is strong.”
Reporter: Even today ?
Trevor Pascacio, Former Convict: “Even today I’m telling you it’s not a nice thing and they have people suffering inside. They just don’t have the strength to come out the way I’m coming out. Somebody needs to listen and make a difference. If they start giving back those people their food and make those people free up men won’t think about escape. Men will try to do their time and get out. But if men are hollering for you because they want water, when you come to bring water for them it’s salt water come one what do you think men will do ? Men will create their own thing to try to get out to free themselves. Even if it was a dog or a cat or bird they would have done the same because it’s something natural in you. It’s sad that the brethren went and their life is under jeopardy and they killed one of the brethren it’s sad. I feel it but the men are doing what they have to do. The men are suffering back there and nobody is studying it. Like prison is not a part of the country. That is a part of our country so if you teach the men the right way and treat them like people to behave like people when they come out they will behave like people. It won’t be all but some people will get it.”
Back in 2007, the mother of Pascasio, Gilda Jones came on the media and alleged that prison officials were brutalizing him but her cries went unheard./