Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

I was raped in Colombian hell prison after being dubbed ‘Cocaine Cassie’… I saw inmates stabbed & hanged from staircases | The Sun

CASSANDRA Sainsbury was only 22 when she was arrested and sent to a notorious Colombian prison, where she was raped, stabbed and witnessed suicides regularly.

Dubbed "Cocaine Cassie", the young Aussie broke down in tears as she recently relived the horrors in the notorious El Buen Pastor Prison.

Cassie was arrested in April 2017 after a man posing as a translator arranged for her to buy discounted headphone sets, which had cocaine hidden inside the packaging.

She served three years inside of the horrific El Buen Pastor prison – home to drug dealers, murderers and petty criminals who made life a living hell.

The Aussie witnessed inmates hanging themselves from the staircases, and saw many die after stabbings.

She told Ant Middleton on SAS Australia: "I'm the person who committed the crime, but I was set up by someone who I considered to be my friend."



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"I had a lot of time to kind of process having been manipulated and tricked by someone I thought was my friend… having been raped."

Cassie said life within the prison was one of sadness and pain, and was certain she would end up dead.

She said: "I had a lot of enemies. And obviously being the gringa in a Spanish prison, it just brings that attention of you know, rich white girl. Need to I guess bully her down until that's it?

"I had a lot of beatings. I got beaten up a lot. I got stabbed. I got two stab marks on my arms where I was stabbed. I went through a lot of things that I wouldn't wish on anyone ever."

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The walls of El Buen Pastor are dotted with bullet holes and living conditions in the prison, home to 55,000 women, are said to be filthy.

Up to 20 women share one cell within the nine cell blocks, and the prison even hosts a bizarre beauty pageant with inmates as contestants.

Once a year, female prisoners dress up in formal gowns and don sashes and tiaras to compete for the title.

One woman from each of the seven sectors of the prison is chosen to represent their cell block while other inmates cheer them on.

Cassie was lucky to escape after serving only three years behind bars and two years on parole in Colombia.

She's now returned home to Australia, and has begun a career as a fitness influencer.

A similar incident happened to two British women in 2013, dubbed the Peru Two.

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid were both 20 years old when they were arrested in August 2013.

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They travelled to Peru on August 15 and were caught trying to leave the country with 11kg cocaine worth £1.5 million at Lima Airport just two days later.

They were paid just £4,000 each to smuggle the drug, and both served three years before being released.

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