There has been an exciting new discovery made at the former prison and now a National Park.
INCOP found during renovations, at a cell complex at the center of the penitentiary, a hidden passageway . The finding of this hidden passageway could be of historical significance as it could reveal even more about the inhumane conditions to which the prisoners of the island were exposed.
It is a passageway that was hidden on the first floor of cell 2 of the penitentiary, behind a concrete lining that deteriorated and fell to pieces during the cleaning of the cell.
Hidden for decades, this passageway led through a subway route to the dreaded area called “el disco” that functioned as a torture cell where prisoners were held for up to 21 days.
According to Rodolfo Salas, representative of Ingeniería América, the company contracted for the restoration and reinforcement of the cells, “at the time of the cleaning work, just behind the concrete there were some steps leading up to the main patio of the cells, so we coordinated with INCOP, the institution that has the contract for this project, as well as with the ICT and the Center for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage”.
After the finding, Juan Ramón Rivera, executive president of INCOP, stated “this is a historic event for the city of Puntarenas, since this finding will attract a large number of tourists interested in learning more about the events that took place in this former penal center”.
“Its possible, this passageway could eventually become the biggest attraction of the National Park. Due to its unique nature, it could offer a more immersive experience for visitors”, concluded Rivera.
According to José León Sánchez, one of the most famous authors of Costa Rican literature and who is famous for writing a book called “La Isla de los Hombres Solos” during his unjust sentence in the San Lucas Island prison, stated that “the place known as el disco was built to capture water from the canoes, but the idea failed and they began to use it as a punishment dungeon, but things changed with the Social Defense Law, which eliminated all forms of punishment at the San Lucas prison”.
When asked about this finding, León Sánchez said that he never knew of the existence of this passageway.
The possibility of finding more hidden corridors as they continue with the remodeling of the prison has not ruled out.
For those interested in learning more about the San Lucas Prison, you can find a copy of José León Sánchez’s book, on Amazon, if you cannot find it locally.