Joran van der Sloot, the last person to see Alabama teen Natalee Holloway alive in 2005 and the convicted murderer of college student Stephany Flores in Lima in 2012, was stabbed twice by his fellow inmates this week, according to his wife. But according to Peruvian prison authorities, van der Sloot hasn’t been harmed at his present penal location. In fact, one official has publicly labeled Joran van der Sloot’s wife a pathological liar.
CNN reported Nov. 4 that Leydi Figueroa, the 25-year-old Peruvian woman who married Joran van der Sloot in July and had his child in September, claims that her 27-year-old husband was “seriously injured” when he was stabbed along the waist and in the shoulder. She told RTL, a Dutch news group (and CNN affiliate), that she also smuggled out of the prison the bloody polo shirt that van der Sloot was wearing at the time of the stabbing.
Van der Sloot was recently transferred to Challapalca prison in Peru’s Puno Province, which is near the Bolivian border. Prior to the placement, he was incarcerated at the notoriously violent and overcrowded Miguel Castro Castro Prison in Lima. It was there that he met Leydi Figueroa and later married her.
According to Fox News, Figueroa has made repeated claims that her husband has been abused in his new surroundings. On the Peruvian TV show “Cuarto Poder,” Figueroa reportedly said that Joran van der Sloot and other inmates are forced to perform exercises in the middle of the night. She said they were routinely beaten for no reason, with special attention given to hitting prisoners’ knees and testicles.
“They make them walk on stools,” Figueroa said, “they have no electricity, they are locked 24 hours. In his ward there are people with tuberculosis, others will suffer from bleeding and infection, and nobody does anything.”
The Associated Press reports (see video report above) that van der Sloot’s attorney, Maximo Altez, says his client has been stabbed during two separate incidents after being transferred. Prison officials admit that the Dutchman had superficial wounds on his abdomen at one time, but the wounds appear to have been self-inflicted. Altez says that his client is being targeted so that prison officials will shut the facility down.
But Figueroa’s claims are being vociferously contested by Jose Perez Guadalupe, director of Peru’s prison oversight agency, the National Penitentiary Institute. He told Peru’s Canal (Channel) N that Figueroa was a “compulsive liar” the same night Leydi Figueroa made the beatings allegations.
“Absolutely nothing has happened,” he said. “That lady is lying and it is not the first time she does it. She has been giving false reports to the media for weeks now: that he has been beaten, tortured, that they submerge him in water. We are facing a compulsive liar. Unfortunately she is wasting all of our time.”
But Guadalupe didn’t stop with the ad hoc psychological evaluation, adding, “For starters, no woman in her right mind goes to a maximum-security prison and marries the biggest killer there.”
Joran van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores. He will be eligible for parole in 2038 and, if granted, he will be extradited to the United States to face charges of extortion and wire fraud. He was indicted on those charges after agreeing to tell Natalee Holloway’s mother, Beth, the location of her daughter’s body in exchange for $25,100. No body was recovered where van der Sloot claimed one would be found and authorities believe most of the money van der Sloot allegedly extorted was used to bankroll his trip to South America, where he eventually wound up in a Peruvian casino, nearly broke, and met Stephany Flores. Authorities believe that Joran van der Sloot had killed Flores to gain access to her credit cards and rob her of her recent winnings at a Lima casino.