PERU Two drugs mule Michaella McCollum revealed how she sobbed in a cockroach-infested jail cell after smuggling cocaine into the country.
Speaking in the new BBC documentary, “High: Confessions Of An Ibiza Drug Mule”, McCollum recalled her terrifying three-year stint in the Peruvian jail.
In a new documentary Michaella McCollum revealed how she ‘losing it’ while in jail in Peru[/caption]
Michaella, left, and Scottish accomplice Melissa Reid were arrested in 2013[/caption]
The Peru Two were sentenced to six years and eight months – a reduced sentence of the maximum 15 years sentence[/caption]
McCollum explained how she began to think she was “losing it” after months of failing to sleep in her cockroach-infested bunk.
“They would hide during the day, and when I would get into bed you would hear them crawling up,” she said of her time at Virgen de Fatima prison when she was awaiting trial.
“I used to just cover myself with a sheet and hope they didn’t crawl on me. I was really paranoid because I felt like my skin was crawling all the time.
“I went to see the prison doctor and he basically said I was crazy because I felt like there was things on me but there wasn’t. Basically, I was really losing it.”
In 2013, McCollum was arrested with Melissa Reid after they were caught trying to leave Peru with 11kg of cocaine worth an estimated £1.5million.
The pair had travelled from Ibiza where they were employed by a gang to smuggle the cocaine back to Spain.
McCollum went on to describe her experience at Ancon prison as “toxic” and compared the facility to a “zoo”.
“It just felt like you were in this madhouse,” she said.
“There was this woman… she had caught her husband having an affair and she had killed their child, and then she fed it to her husband in a stew.”
The Peru Two attempted to smuggle cocaine back to Europe in porridge and soup packets[/caption]
While behind bars, McCollum claims she witnessed a terrifying attack where an inmate attacked another with a long needle.
“She just leaped across the table and started attacking this other girl, her blood and hair were everywhere,” she recalled.
“After the first few horrendous months there I did slowly start to drop my guard a bit…I kind of figured if they wanted me dead it would have happened by now.”
In a bid to prove that she was trustworthy to others in prison, McCollum took over the beauty salon and became the representative for her fellow inmates.
While there she began learning Spanish, forged friendships with other drug mules and began improving the basic amenities at the salon.
“I learned the prison had their very own beauty salon, more like a few chairs and mirrors and a concrete room, but for me it was heaven,” she said.
“I got a job and I would do different hair treatments, colouring and cutting, blow-dries, waxing, nails, massage.
“I had no real qualifications, I was winging it but I was good at it. I had a lot of clients.
She added: “I really did try to improve things; I got water filters so we could all have clean water and a microwave, and we would have evenings where we have an hour of dancing.”
After cutting a deal with the state prosecutor to confess they were sentenced to six years and eight months instead of the maximum 15-year sentence.
The Peru Two were released after serving three years with McCollum returning to her home in Northern Ireland in 2016.
McCollum, now mum to twin boys Rafael and Rio and is studying for a degree, said her experience in Peruvian jail was transformative.
“When you’re young you don’t know it all,” she said.
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“I made a dreadful mistake and I regret it, but what prison taught me made me who I am today and that’s a better person than I would have been otherwise,”
“I am a mam now and I am going to get on with being the best one I can.”
The documentary will air on BBC Three on July 3.