Incarcerated: 4 years
Housed: Itaguí Prison in Medellin, Colombia
Jorge: My name is Jorge, I live here in a neighborhood called Manrique. I have a daughter who’s eight and I’m no longer with her mom.
Diane: Tell me about your daughter.
Jorge: She’s an amazing human. She’s a bit introverted, fun, super smart… sometimes she asks me questions, like adult questions I don’t know how to answer. She’s been through a lot in her life. She was four when I got arrested. Her mom couldn’t handle the situation very well, so she’s been violent with her many times. Now she’s going through court support for child abuse, psychological therapy, and her mom is living a messy life at the moment. The kid is amazing and very resilient because she’s been through a lot. At the moment she lives with my mom because her mom doesn’t have custody.
Diane: How often do you talk to her or see her?
Jorge: Once a month, she can come in from 7am to 3pm, so quite a few hours to hang out. I have a cellphone, so I try to be in contact with her as much as I can. But sometimes it’s really hard because she asks difficult questions, “When are you coming back? “Why are you here?” because she knows everything. I try to be communicative with her but it’s difficult.
Diane: Have you come up with tactics to parent from inside?
Jorge: I’ve done some research on YouTube and Facebook for tips on how to communicate and stuff, but the most I do is stay strong and don’t show her weakness so she stays strong. I don’t show her that I might have issues; I just stay strong. Also, a friend of mine who’s a psychologist gives me advice now and then.
I’m going through a program here. We’re going to reconnect my daughter with her mom with my help in the middle.
Jorge: I want to tell you a dream my daughter had. One day I prayed to God for her to be a thoughtful, impactful child. I prayed for her and her wisdom. The next day, which was yesterday, she had a dream that I came to the house and she was so happy to see me that she passed out in the dream. When she came to, I told her that finally we’ll be able to do all the things that I had promised her. Then she told me this dream.
Diane: How did you feel about that?
Jorge: The strangest thing is that I had this thought all the time of being with her again, sharing life together again, doing our projects again. I feel like God gave her the gift of this dream, the connection. I’m looking forward to making that happen.
Diane: Will you be released soon?
Jorge: My primary sentence was 12 years, but I truly believe I’m innocent, so I’m going through appellations, applications and forms because it’s unfair. I want to reduce the sentence. If that doesn’t work, it’s nine years to go.
Diane: To me, you’re so happy. I can feel your energy of being a happy, positive person. What makes you like that in this environment?
Jorge: I have a very close relationship with God. God is what makes me a positive and strong person. I feel that if I show weakness to my family they will suffer. So, I hold onto being strong and the relationship with God is what keeps that going. It’s difficult being in this storm with all the negativity and darkness around. My strength with God is what gives me that energy. I try hard to spread joy, happiness and positivity around the inmates. We spread energy and get contagious with positive energy.
Diane: Is there something you want to share with us?
Jorge: I want to say hello to all the inmates that are in prisons around the world. It’s like a brotherhood of realities that we share. I want to say that we’re not alone. We have hope- not everything is screwed. There are people helping you like Humans of San Quentin. There are people working for this cause. They are angels sent to earth to see those places that need more love. You have a friend here. This is Colombia, but we’re all together in this.