by Servando Alonso Flores, written while he was detained at Northwest Detention Center. He has since been deported.

I’m SERVANDO ALONSO FLORES. I want to share the following story about Ivan the Gorilla from Tacoma, Washington…

Very clearly, he was kidnapped for profit. Ivan was fit into the malevolent plans of his licensed captors, or should I say his licensed kidnappers. This gorilla was forced to perform acts which he was trained for, for profit. After his kidnapping from the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he was brought to the so-called “Land of the Free” to live a life filled with misery, crammed into a cage for the rest of his life, without the slightest opportunity to get to know another gorilla. This is totally inhuman, and what’s worse is that the government allowed this atrocity to happen.

At this very moment we are in the same situation. The only difference is we’re not talking about wild animals. We’re talking about human beings. Today they are allowing the same things to happen in the so-called “Land of the Free,” a country that doesn’t respect our human rights. We’re living exactly like Ivan the Gorilla, locked up between four walls, though we have to live with thirty to eighty other people in the same unit, without any hygienic measures, even in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. They feed us a series of disgusting and horrible meals, breaking every standard for food safety, without any oversight: food with infinite kinds of impurities, such as hair, nails, plastic, trash.

No more! I’m calling out to the society they cut us off from: to competent authorities, medical as well as political, including Amnesty International, the United Nations, and other organizations that respect human rights and international treaties. We must put an end to this hugely profitable industry. We must be given the freedom that was taken from us. Until it’s too late and we end up like:


More information about the life of Ivan the gorilla: