Brazilian drug trafficker’s luxury prison pad discovered in Paraguay

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(CNN) — Maybe prison wouldn’t be so bad if all the cells were like this.

Images showing the fancy Paraguayan prison accommodation of Brazilian drug trafficker Jarvis Chimenes Pavao have emerged in local news reports, showing a spacious, three-room suite complete with his own library, a flat screen TV, and a collection of DVDs.

Pavao is at the Tacumbu prison in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion — the largest and one of the country’s most crowded detention centers — and his spacious accommodation is at striking odds with his fellow inmates.

Currently, there are 3,532 inmates housed there, despite the prison having a capacity of 1,687, according to Paraguayan media reports.

Last month an accidental fire in the prison killed six people — five inmates and a guard.

Pavao planned an escape

Pavao was admitted into the prison in December 2009, according to Paraguayan state media and CNN affiliate SNT.

The renovation of the cell was done with the knowledge of the prison authorities and the then-minister for justice, SNT reports. The report does not name any officials.

The fancy digs were discovered when prison authorities uncovered a plan by Pavao to use explosives to blow a hole in his well-appointed cell and escape.

Now, an investigation into the construction of the cell, as well as prison governance’s apparent blind eye to the plush accommodations, is underway.

Lap of luxury

The images denote pleasure, not punishment. Despite being locked up, Pavao would be able to rise from his large bed, complete with thick mattress and comforter, and work out on his in-room treadmill before perhaps holding a quick meeting around his prison conference table. He could then settle down on his couch to watch some TV.

His viewing choices appear not to stray too far from home — in his collection of DVDs is a dramatization of the life of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord who was able to design his own prison under a deal with the Colombian government.

Despite his lavish lifestyle, Pavao was a loved figure in the prison and would rent out use of the prison haven to other detainees, according to local news reports.

Last week, a new Justice Minister, Ever Martinez, was appointed an promised a regeneration of the prison system in Paraguay. He has already appointed a new director of the prison, Luis Villagra.

Upon discovery, Pavao was evicted from his luxury pile last week and transferred to another — presumably far less salubrious — cell.