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Playing and Booze Social gathering at Colombian Jail Raises Questions About Safety


Posted on: October 4, 2022, 07:56h. 

Final up to date on: October 4, 2022, 07:56h.

When most individuals think about jail life, they don’t image playing, liquor and dwell music. Nevertheless, that’s precisely the scene that performed out at a jail in Colombia, and lawmakers are screaming for solutions.

La Picota prison
A view of the La Picota jail in Bogota, Colombia. A 3-day celebration that included playing, booze and dwell music has the nation’s jail system underneath the microscope. (Picture: Colombia Experiences)

The Lawyer Basic’s Workplace (AGO) has launched a preliminary investigation to find out the accountability of officers and guards on the Nationwide Penitentiary and Jail Institute (INPEC, for its Spanish acronym). This follows an “unique celebration” that befell on the Bogotá Penitentiary and Jail Complicated La Picota in Bogota. It wasn’t a quick-and-dirty affair – the festivities lasted for 3 days.

The AGO desires to know if anybody throughout the jail system facilitated the irregular entry of prohibited substances. It additionally desires a proof for added contraband a shock inspection discovered after the celebration got here to mild.

It Pays To Be A Prisoner

Native media accounts point out that the jail yard was full with dwell music through the festivities. Singer Mono Zabaleta entertained the drug traffickers and different inmates within the pavilion, which was arrange with tables, chairs, tents and whiskey.

The guards have been additionally reportedly drunk after they completed their shifts. Nobody inside INPEC’s ranks appeared to care.

The celebration befell in the course of the commemoration of the Virgen de las Mercedes, the Catholic patron saint of inmates. One way or the other, there have been prohibited parts, similar to imported liquor, cigarettes and playing, on the celebration.

La Picota can also be the short-term residence of Colonel Benjamín Núñez, a colonel with the police division within the Colombian division of Suchre. He faces expenses of ordering officers to kill three unarmed younger males. Núñez arrived on the jail per week earlier than the celebration.

Former President Andrés Pastrana attributed the incident to Néstor Osuna, Colombia’s Minister of Justice. He immediately blamed the official for not sustaining management and order, though Osuna wasn’t concerned.

This isn’t the primary time La Picota has been within the highlight. Excessive-profile prisoners have been capable of stroll out the gates. One was Carlos Mattos, a corrupt businessman who went out for a stroll, protected by union privileges. An investigation implicated a few guards, however they remained in place on account of union safety.

One other was Jesus Santrich, a high-ranking member of Colombia’s guerilla military, FARC. He walked out of the jail in 2019, however just for a couple of minutes earlier than police arrested him.

Social gathering Uncovers Luxurious Dwelling

After the story concerning the celebration surfaced, INPEC held a shock inspection of the jail. What officers discovered was proof that prisoners have been residing the great life after they have been purported to be locked away.

The inspection discovered 122 cell telephones, 30 web modems, 5 tablets, three projectors, 4 good watches, eleven tv decoders, 19 music speaker techniques and extra. It additionally uncovered 184 bottles of liquor, together with whiskey, tequila, wine and champagne, in addition to $400,000 in money.

Equally, objects have been seized that, regardless of not being restricted, have been present in prohibited locations, together with some inmate cells. Amongst these have been giant televisions, 17 ice chests, 25 electrical stoves, 5 fridges, three espresso makers, 9 blenders, a DVD participant, 16 sandwich makers and 9 stress cookers.

In response to the scandal, Osuna didn’t hesitate to make adjustments. He fired the warden, Colonel Joaquín Darío Medrano, and appointed Horacio Bustamante Reyes to take over. Bustamante beforehand oversaw the Medium Safety Penitentiary and Jail Institution of Manizales and has been with INPEC for 27 years.

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