Brazilian Drug Lord Turns Jail Cell Into Luxury Suite, Corruption Reached Top Of System

When Paraguayan authorities raided a Brazilian drug lord’s cell this week, they got one massive surprise that no one expected. Upon entering Jarvis Chimenes Pavao’s cell, who is considered one of South America’s most dangerous drug traffickers, and has been serving a sentence of eight years for money laundering at Tacumbu prison, they found a three-room luxury suite.

A powerful bomb was discovered within the prison, and responsible for the explosives was Pavao, as the Associated French Press relays.

“Chimenes Pavao, who was due for release next year but facing extradition back to Brazil on drug charges, had allegedly planned to use the plastic explosives to blow a hole in the prison walls and escape. But his plan backfired when police poured into the prison to investigate and discovered his pimped out cell.”

Authorities walked into the lap of luxury which included a library, kitchen, conference room, and plasma TV. The publication relays more about the “VIP” suite in detail.

“The ‘VIP cell,’ as it was known to prisoners, had three rooms with en suite bathroom, a kitchen and conference room, air conditioning, stylishly tiled walls, plush furniture and a library complete with a DVD collection to watch on the big-screen plasma TV, AFP reporters saw during a visit.”

There was a collection of DVDs for the prisoner to watch, including Pablo Escobar and a TV series based on the Colombian kingpin.

The raid took place on Tuesday night and immediately shook up the penal system in Paraguay. The lawyer for the drug lord stated that the corruption which allowed her client to live in such luxury reached all the way to the top of the system.

“Six or seven justice ministers and six or seven prison directors” took bribes from Chimenes Pavao, she said.

The justice minister Carla Bacigalupo was fired almost immediately after the scandal broke. Ever Martinez, her replacement, vowed that he would crack down following this discovery.

“We’re going to demolish Chimenes Pavao’s cell and take measures against the prison directors who allowed this inmate to enjoy these privileges.”

Pavao has now been transferred to a different cell in a police special operations unit. Behind him he leaves a massive number of inmates who say that they miss him already, sharing that they don’t know how things will become in the prison without him there.

“I don’t know what’s going to become of us without him,” said a fellow prisoner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The inmate shared that the drug lord was a “generous benefactor” who put up the money to buy a football pitch and a chapel in the prison. He also employed bodyguards among inmates, for protection.

“He was the most loved man in this prison,” said another inmate, Antonio Gonzalez.

The state of prisons across much of Latin America results in terrible conditions for inmates. Tacumbu prison is no different, as the AFP relays.

“Like at many prisons across Latin America, most inmates at Tacumbu eat only irregularly and sleep on cardboard boxes or directly on the floor. Riots are common. ‘It’s miserable,’ said Josieux, another prisoner from Brazil. ‘Two inmates died of hunger and cold’ in June, he said.”

Although Pavao’s lawyer admits her client was not a saint, he did his part to assist and employ people, while attempting to maintain a decent quality of life within the walls of the prison.

“He never said he was a saint,” said Chimenes Pavao’s lawyer. But he was completing his sentence and helping out with the money he earns legally through his companies,” which employ 1,200 people, she said.

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]