Translation of letter sent to FFI from Martin V. written while detained at Adelanto Detention Center. He was bonded out on December 2.

Hello, my name is Martin. I have been detained at Adelanto, owned and operated by the GEO Group, since May 22, 2020. Everything was fine with my health until I arrived here. Little by little I began to feel bad. The food they give us here is frozen or it’s food with preservatives. This is what made me sick. The food they sell in the commissary is very expensive and I don’t have money to buy it. All this makes me feel really bad.

My skin was very itchy and I developed red spots.

My family is in Mexico and I only have my wife and my children here. They can’t help me. I feel really bad and alone. I have a lot of stress and depression. My hair is falling out from all the stress. And now that I’ve come down with Covid-19 I feel even worse. Here in the medical center they don’t give us anything. I came back negative but I still have symptoms. I don’t know if it’s the chemical they put out. My skin was very itchy and I developed red spots.

And you can’t do anything. They punished us on June 12 because we didn’t want to be locked up in our cells all day. And because we didn’t want to go to them they began to shoot bullets full of pepper spray and they dragged us all back. Some they took to the hospital because they were bleeding. Some had asthma and couldn’t breathe. Things they had no reason to do. It’s very hard that things like that happen and we can’t do anything.

These things happen and no one does anything.

They punished us for thirty-one days by locking us up in our cells. We could only go out to shower for thirty minutes during the day. The bathrooms are very filthy because no one cleans them. These things happen and no one does anything. Simply because we don’t have a simple paper, we aren’t free.

We only want for God not to forget us and to give us another opportunity to be with our children. It’s very difficult to live like this separated from the people you love. Life changes completely and kids grow up without their parents and they begin to do bad things. I hope that someone will hear me and support me in this trial in my life. I trust in God that there are still good people.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see my family or children again.

Thank you for taking me into account. Everything I’m saying is the truth. It’s very sad to see so many people suffering, everyone in their own way. But I know that they suffer and even more with this Covid-19 virus. It doesn’t matter where we come from or what color we are, we all deserve respect as the human beings that we are. I don’t understand how they can leave us in here to catch the virus knowing that it kills people and it doesn’t matter to them. They still have us locked up in here exposed to catching it again. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my family or children again. I’m asking God for all this to come to an end soon.

Meanwhile I try to stay busy writing and drawing so that my mind can escape from inside here and so that I don’t have to think about all this. Thank you for letting me share these things that we’re living through in here. Thank you for listening to our stories that no one knows about, but really happen in this world. Thank you for taking a little of your time for us. May God bless you.

Sketch by Martin included with his letter

Translated by David Golding