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Meet The Entrepreneur Who Launched A WhatsApp Rival From A Colombian Prison

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forbes articleThe following is an excerpt from Thomas Fox-Brewster | May 19, 2016 | Forbes.com |

The view from Mayer Mizrachi Matalon’s jail cell is a fine one; clumped red-brick houses, the undulating emerald fields of Bogotá, Colombia, mimicked above by white furrowed clouds.

Inside the rusted bars of La Picota prison, reality bites. Small bunk beds, shelves cluttered with packets of assorted foodstuffs, buckets used to store water for washing, drinking, brushing teeth, cleaning the toilet.

His two roommates are wanted for aiding terrorists and drug crimes, typical of the inmates at infamous La Picota. Like Mizrachi, 28, they say they are innocent.

Outside his cell’s door are cold showers, non-kosher food that Mizrachi, who is Jewish, can’t eat. Inmates play table tennis and hang their laundry in a cloistered mess hall. They eye one another suspiciously. During his time here, Mizrachi has experienced threats of violence and rape from baying prisoners, many accused of helping run the drug trade that’s ravaged South America. Relentless fear. It’s been five months now.

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