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Ritmo: something rotten in the State of Texas

3 August 2007

If I had all the time and resources in the world, I’d still not be infallible. Bob, in his comment below, pointed out that the management of this facility changed hands. I’ve had to do a quick and dirty rewrite. Originally, I had Geo Group still managing the facility. Run by George C. Zoley who received $3,685,054 in compensation for 2004, they’re probably scumbags, but they’re not the scumbags who presently manage Willacy. Much thanks to Bob for pointing me towards the more deserving villains.

The late Marvin Zindler died too soon. Slime in the ice machine? That’s nothing… how about maggots in the baby food!

KGBT-TV4 in Harlingen reported last night on the food service at Texas’ favorite gulag, Willacy County Detention Center, affectionately known to the Mex Files as Ritmo:

This story involving some detainees and security guards at the Willacy County detention center who are speaking out about life for two-thousand immigrants.

We have obtained internal documentation from the Willacy detention center where not only detainees complain about the conditions inside, but also security guards have recorded in their logbooks dozens of undocumented immigrants that have found maggots in their food.

The federal detention center located in Raymondville which houses two-thousand undocumented immigrants has received criticism for allegedly feeding detainees contaminated or rotten food.

An action 4 News investigation reveals that in one instance, over 30 detainees reported that the quantity and quality of food are deplorable, an allegation confirmed by at least two security guards.

One of those anonymous guards says: “the reason it gets contaminated it’s because of the storage facility, they don’t have the storage facility. They were trying to blame the companies that supposedly the food is coming in spoiled which is not true.”

By the way, Ritmo houses families, including babies and small children.

The facility is managed by the Management and Training Corporation, and is expanding under a contract with the Immigrations and Customs Service Inter-governmental Service Agreement (IGSA) with Willacy County. In some ways, that’s even more appalling than being run by Geo Group. Geo makes no secret of being in the prison biz. MTC started as a job training service provider, and claims it “brings new solutions to inmate needs.” Serving rotten food hardly seems new, though.

MTC’s corporate headquarters are in Centerville Utah:

500 N. Marketplace Drive
Centerville, UT 84014-1708
801 693-2600
Fax 801 693-2900

Their listed officers keep a low profile. I can find no links or information about Chairman of the Board Robert Marquardt, CEO R. Scott Marquart. Treasurer Lyle J. Parry is listed also as the treasurer of the Management and Training Corporation Political Action Committee (same address as MTC) which isn’t the biggest political spender on the block (but, then, if they can’t serve their “guests” decent food, why would you expect them to spend much on legal bribery?

And, by the way, this isn’t the first time MTC — which stays under the radar — has had management problems at their facilities in Canada and the United States.

One factor overlooked by Willacy County’s 45 million dollar expansion project is that a 1000 more “guests” mean a thousand more people taking a shit (and with rotten food, that may work out to a lot more than 1000 daily constitutionals): add a few million to the country’s tab for expanding their sewage system.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    5 August 2007 7:01 pm

    GEO has not operated this facility since abut 2003.

    Fact check before we post, please?

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  1. Ritmo, not Gitmo, to undo Cheney? « The Mex Files

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