Still Standing
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163 pages

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  • Engrossing and beautifully written true story.
  • Strikes important theme of a woman wrongly imprisoned, falsely accused by her husband.
  • Author is the rare type who sees humanity amongst prisoners without whitewashing their crimes.
  • Captures spirit of best-selling book and Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
  • Appeals to fans of Locked Up Abroad aka Banged Up Abroad from UK's Channel 5 and the National Geographic Channel.
  • Bilingual author from Miami and Guatemala City.

  1. A Warrant for My Arrest
  2. The Beginning of the Eld
  3. My First Hearing
  4. Months of Turmoil
  5. Pray for Me
  6. El Centro de Detención Preventiva para Mujeres Santa Teresa
  7. Prison Drama
  8. It's My Children's Birthday…and I'm Not There
  9. Justicia para Anaité
  10. No End in Sight
  11. Life in Encamamiento
  12. Hearings, Hearings, and More Hearings
  13. Fasting, Encomiendas, and a Movie Marathon
  14. One More Day, One Less Day
  15. Freedom
  16. Home Sweet Home
  17. Death of the American Dream



Publié par
Date de parution 21 août 2018
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9781948062121
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



Finding Light Inside a Guatema lan Prison
Anait é Alvarado

Still Standing: Finding Light Inside a Guatema lan Prison
Copyright © 2018 by Anait é Alvarado
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief excerpts in critical reviews or articles. All inquiries should be sent by e-mail to Apollo Publishers at info@apollopublis
Apollo Publishers books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Special editions may be made available upon request. For details, contact Apollo Publishers at info@apollopubli
Visit our website at www.apollop ublishers.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is availabl e on file.
Cover design by Ra in Saukas.
Print ISBN: 978-1-9 48062-05-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-9 48062-12-1
Printed in the United States of America
The content in this book is based off the author’s memories, records, and personal opinions. Actual events, locales, persons, entities, conversations, and other details may vary. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals. While best efforts have been used in preparing this book, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents or the opinions expressed. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the content containe d herein.


Chapter 1 : A Warrant for My Arrest
Chapter 2 : The Beginning of the End
Chapter 3 : My First Hearing
Chapter 4 : Months of Turmoil
Chapter 5 : Pray for Me
Chapter 6 : El Centro de Detención Preventiva para Mujeres Santa Teresa
Chapter 7 : Prison Drama
Chapter 8 : It’s My Children’s Birthday . . . and I’m Not There
Chapter 9 : Justicia para Anaité
Chapter 10 : No End in Sight
Chapter 11 : Life in Encamamiento
Chapter 12 : Hearings, Hearings, and More Hearings
Chapter 13 : Fasting, Encomiendas, and a Movie Marathon
Chapter 14 : One More Day, One Less Day
Chapter 15 : Freedom
Chapter 16 : Home Sweet Home
Chapter 17 : Death of the American Dream

My name is Anaité Alvarado and on January 5, 2016, I was arrested, taken away from my two five-year-old children, and sent to preventive detention for sixty-five days, accused of a crime I did not commit, with no evidence to justify my arrest and imprisonment. I hope my account of this harrowing experience will help shed light on the broken prison and justice system in Guatemala—one that, as this book goes to print, I am still dealing with—and that one day soon justice will prevail and absolve every innocent prisoner from the crimes they did not commit. This is my story . . . an ongoing battle with the hope that the truth will set me free.

Chapter 1
A Warrant for My Arrest

T he intercom rang at 6:05 a.m., like every other weekday morning. It was the security guard at the first gate of our neighborhood complex, letting us know that my children’s school bus was on its way to my home. And like every other weekday morning, I opened my front door to send them off, only this time I was surprised by three police cars waiting outside. After the bus drove up to my house, I managed to say goodbye to my children and wish them a wonderful day. Then I stood there, watching the bus speed away, as I waited for the officers to app roach me.
“Good morning,” said one of the officers. “We have a warrant to search yo ur home.”
I wasn’t scared or surprised. Given the circumstances, my first thought was, Here we go. They are about to turn my home up side down!
Six or seven officers walked into my home, but they did not seem to touch or move anything. I entered my study and compliantly opened the only place in my house where I kept documents under lock and key. And since I tend to suffer from a sort of compulsion to over-organize, all my personal documents were in plain sight, in alphabetical order, and organized by size or color. From the binder clearly labeled “Banks , ” they took an old folder that read “Green Millennium Precious Woods,” which contained a document that stated that I had been the first investor to believe in my husband years before. What had once been a proud moment in our lives, would now be used as evidence a gainst me.
The officers were courteous, respectful, and well-mannered. Among them was a young man dressed in plainclothes who asked me about my husband, his whereabouts, and his phon e number.
“I don’t know where he is,” I replied politely. “I don’t know where he lives, and I am not going to give you his phone number because, as civil as we all seem to be right now, you are my enemy.”
“We have a warrant for his arrest,” explained the officer calmly, and seemingly embarrassed, he added, “and we have a warrant for your ar rest too.”
In that instant, still in my nightgown, surrounded by strangers with guns and warrants, I realized that my husband’s problems, which I had so vehemently tried to separate from my children and myself, were now closer and more destructive than ev er before.
“I’m not sure I understand. Could you please explain what thi s means?”
He patiently explained that I would have to accompany them to the Torre de Tribunales, Guatemala City’s courthouse, where I would be brought before a judge to make my statement. The arrest warrants he flashed before my eyes included three names—my husband and his accountant were being charged with money laundering, fraud, and criminal association. Under my name, I only read “criminal association.” Little did I know I was on the cusp of a crash course in legal te rminology.
As I continued to read the warrants, I also noticed that the officers would be going to a house where my husband once lived with his first wife. Fortunately, she and her children no longer resided there, but I couldn’t help thinking about the family who now lived there and whose home would soon be invaded by officers while they were flooded with questions.
When I looked up from the documents, the officer suggested that I eat some breakfast because it was uncertain when I would eat again. How could I eat? My stomach was in knots, but I remai ned calm.
“Would it be OK if I took a shower and got dressed instead?” I asked.
“Well, that’s certainly not normal procedure, but yes, go ahead,” he replied, and stood back filling out forms while a female agent, Delmi, was assigned to escort me, becoming my shadow for the rest of the morning.
Delmi and I went up to my bedroom on the second floor. She waited patiently and respectfully while I showered, got dressed, and prepared for the unknown. I grabbed a handbag from my closet and began filling it with the basics. Just as I was about to place my cell phone inside, I decided to ask Delmi what she suggested I do about my purse.
“Don’t bring anything other than your ID,” she said immediately, and explained that everything else would be confiscated when I entered the building.
Still in shock, I followed her advice, leaving my bag behind and taking only my ID. Before leaving my bedroom, I asked Delmi if I could make a few phone calls. She kindly agreed, so I began the slew of calls to attempt to explain my fate that day, one that I did not yet understand c ompletely.
I called my mother, who immediately began to scream, painfully, “No, mija, no, no, no!” Somehow, I sheltered myself from any despair and remained as practical as possible given the circu mstances.
My next call was to my employer. I was scheduled to meet my colleague Carlos that morning because we had planned to take several cars filled with artwork to Antigua, Guatemala. We were working on the exhibition phase of a beautiful art project that would soon culminate in an auction to benefit a foundation for children with cancer. All I could say to him was that I would not be able to meet him at 8 a.m. as planned, that I could not explain any further, and that the situation was out of m y control.
I then called my father to let him know what was going on and he sprang into action. The only commitment I was unable to cancel that day was with my friend Steve, whom I was to meet for lunch in Antigua after delivering the artwork to Casa Santo Domi ngo Hotel.
When all was said and done, I walked out of my bedroom with Delmi by my side, wearing a pair of black jeans, a white tank top, a light black-and-white scarf, black flats, and a black sweater over my shoulders. I placed my ID, lip balm, some mints, and a small compact in my pockets, and said goodbye to my housekeeper, Olga. As we left my home, I once again saw the three police cars, which I now realized were pickup trucks, as well as fourteen agents waiting outside. Delmi explained to me that the proper procedure was to handcuff me then, but that she would spare me for now and do so as soon as we arrived at the c ourthouse.
They decided I should travel inside the last truck. The other two trucks would continue their journey to search for my husband and his accountant. Two agents got in the front seat, while Delmi and I climbed into the back, careful not to step on the ten pineapples that were on the floor. The rest of the

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