A Solitary Life

Where were you in 1965. Moi? Second year university. Loving it and then onward  into a life lived. We all have our stories. Even Hugo Pinell.

In 1965 this Nicaraguan born fellow went down aged 19 as coloured chums often do , in the San Francisco courts for three years to life, for rape. Later he claims he was just plea  bargaining by saying he was guilty. He claims he was told that he would be out “in months” What  happens next may have made him bitter, maybe he was bitter already.

Last week aged 71 in an  exercise  yard scuffle  a vile dagger was drawn  and Yogi Bear exercised no more.

So while we were having our lives, loves, families ,Hugo was inside. But not without events. In his time he killed at least three prison guards. He was also  in 1971 one of the famous San Quentin 6.

By then Yogi Bear had  been done for assaulting and killing  two separate prison officers. So when Black Panther leader George Jackson had a gun smuggled (and hidden in his Afro hair) Hugo Pinell was an obvious accomplice. They captured three guards and two trusties. All five captives would see the the sun set but not rise.

Pinell was later done for slitting their throats  with a dagger made out of razor blades stuck in a tooth brush.

When Jackson  first cornered the prison officers he cried “This is it, the Dragon has come”. As he slit their throats Pinell cried “I love you pigs”. George Jackson was shot as he tried to climb the prison wall.

The trial of the San Quentin Six took two years. The defence claimed that it had all been a set up  so the authorities  could assassinate Jackson. The jury after much deliberation sent them down.

In recent years,this being the land of the free, there has been something of free Yogi Bear campaign. But the last time he went in front of the parole board in 2014 they added 15 years to his sentence. He spent 45 years in solitary and had only been released into the general  prison population days before his murder.

So although he did the crime he never did all the time. Whatever gang he was in was not strong enough to defend him  in that Sacramento prison yard last week.

A statement was released by the San Quentin Six.

“Hugo Pinell was assassinated at new Folsom State Prison, August 12, 2015. This is another example of the racism people of color inside those prisons are confronted with on a daily basis.  Like Comrade George, Hugo has been in the cross hairs of the system for years. His assassination exemplifies how racists working in conjunction with prison authorities commit murderous acts like this. We saw it on the yard at Soledad in 1970 and we see it again on the yard at Folsom in 2015.


Hugo’s life was a living hell. We witness the brutality inflicted on him by prison guards as they made every effort to break him.  He endured more than fifty years of sensory deprivation; for decades,  he was denied being able to touch his family or another human being,  as well as attempts on his life. This is cruel and unusual punishment! Hugo is not the monster that is being portrayed in social media / news media. The CDC is the real monster.


Right on. Put the kettle on mother.

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