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Jul 29, 2011

Mother alleges son contracted tuberculosis behind bars

On Wednesday, Nora Sierra visited our newsroom to make a complaint against the Kolbe Foundation. Nora says her twenty-two year old son Joel Sierra, who is incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison, has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis and despite recommendations from a doctor; Kolbe is refusing to allow her son to receive proper medical treatment.  Nora says she was asked for an official doctor’s diagnosis and even after she supplied the papers, her son is still not getting the medical attention he needs.

Nora Sierra, Joel Sierra’s Mother

“Right now I know that I have a paper stating that Dr. Hidalgo says that he needs to be hospitalized but for some reason or the other the people at Kolbe they don’t want to release him. I don’t know if it’s because they’re asking me to come up front with a thousand four hundred dollars and I don’t have it.”

Andrea Polanco

“What is that money for?”

Nora Sierra

Nora Sierra

“According to them they’re telling me that they have to pay their officers to guard my son. I agree that my son is an inmate, he committed a crime ma’m but he is not a murderer.  And moreover, overall we are all humans, we’re all Belizeans. I don’t know what they want to do with my son. I guess they want him to die in there. I guess they are trying to penalize him because I said I was going to try seek legal aid, legal help.”

Andrea Polanco

“How long has he been diagnosed with tuberculosis?”

Nora Sierra

“Well I started, I went to visit him on the thirteenth of this month and I saw that he had lost his weight drastically and I went to the office and spoke with Mr. Blease; and I said that my son is losing a lot of weight and he’s not feeling well. So they said they had tested him for tuberculosis and they are waiting for this sputum. Up to now I’m still waiting for this sputum but they said they are sure more or less that it is that you know. So I said sir you don’t understand, please bring my son in front of me and then you will know how much weight he has lost.”

Andrea Polanco

“Is this something he contracted there you believe, or did he have this before he went into the prison?”

Nora Sierra

“Definitely he contracted it in there. My son was a strong healthy man when he came in there. And it has to be in there, my son is in there for two years and almost two months or two months to be exact. So it has to be in there that he contracted it.”

Andrea Polanco

“So do you know if there are existing cases of tuberculosis at the prison? Have you heard anything?”

Nora Sierra

“Actually I know they are testing other inmates that were with him but as far as I know they have tested a whole lot of other inmates from last year, which my son was one of them. Yuh know and my son’s skin had swollen a little bit but because they took an x-ray and it didn’t really show up a big development. They said that the government when it’s like that they don’t do anything.”

Andrea Polanco

“So at this point in time Ms. Sierra, what is it that you want?”

Nora Sierra

“I want Kolbe to listen, that my son needs help and he needs to be hospitalized because they need to monitor him. What I think is happening, is that they want to monitor him because of his kidney or his liver according to what the doctor had explained to me and they do not want to release him.”

Nora called us on Thursday to say that Kolbe took her son to see the doctor; however, he was transported back to the prison. We were unable to reach Earl Jones, C.E.O. of the Kolbe Foundation, for comment today.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Mother alleges son contracted tuberculosis behind bars”

  1. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    I am sure that the people at the Kolbe foundation prison knows that TB is a contagious disease and that if inmates remains in lockdown with this disease it could turn into an epidemic that could affect the entire prison population.(Just one sneeze is sufficient to expel mucous and salive laden with bacteria an average of 40 meters into the air with the potential to infect all who inhale it.)
    Remember My Legacy B4 My People.

  2. Undecided says:

    Well jail is NOT a resort, they need to stop doing stupid stuff to get locked up!!!

  3. Belize Boy in Florida says:

    Sorry to hear that he has (TB) . People has to be responsible for there own actions. When they are free on the outside they think that they are untouchable. When they get locked up then they want to act like they are not supposed to be behind bar, if the parent would raise there children the right way than they will not have to be inb a place like prison. When I was growing up in Orange Walk Town back in the 80′s we got our a– beat it we did anything to anyone. My grandma or father aunt or uncle didn;t play the radio because we are a product of the family and everybody knew everybody. And they would tell on you that you were being bad in public. I said all that to say that if people want to act like animals then that is what happens.

  4. 45shantella says:

    No bdy is perfect..

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