Colombia declares ‘prison emergency’ over attacks on

Colombia declares ‘prison emergency’ over attacks on


The Colombian prison authority declared, this Monday (12), a state of “prison emergency” throughout the country after recording several attacks against guards in local prisons, which resulted in the death of an employee, the Ministry of Justice reported.

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“We have just unanimously approved the declaration of prison emergency by the board of Inpec (National Penitentiary and Prison Institute), ” the Minister of Justice, Néstor Osuna, informed the press, who highlighted the objective of the measure to reinforce security in prisons.

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On Saturday, a guard was shot dead by two men riding a motorcycle in front of the San Sebastián de Ternera prison, in Cartagena (north).

Another attack against prison guards was recorded in the municipality of Jamundí (Valle del Cauca, southwest), with an undetermined number of Inpec guards injured, according to authorities. According to local media, it was a shooting attack.

Furthermore, “threatening leaflets were found in different prisons,” the ministry said in a bulletin.

In response to the attacks, a prison staff union threatened to go on strike if action was not taken.

“The prison emergency has two purposes: […] protect the life and integrity of prison guards and completely eradicate extortion and corruption that comes from prisons, Osuna explained.

One of the first measures will be, according to the minister, the designation of “a specific prosecutor to (investigate) homicides against Inpec guards and another specific prosecutor for cases of extortion and prison corruption”.

Colombia’s penitentiary system houses more than 190,000 inmates in conditions of severe overcrowding, according to official data.

Edition: AFP

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