Riots in more than ten Colombian prisons due to overcrowding and fear of COVID-19

The inmates of more than ten prisons in Colombia rioted on Saturday night due to overcrowding and the lack of elements to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the pandemic that has terrified the world.

The political party Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (FARC) assured on social networks that "at this moment in more than 10 detention centers in Colombia, people deprived of liberty are protesting against precarious sanitary conditions."

The riots occur in the Modelo, La Picota and Buen Pastor prisons in Bogotá, the latter for women; as well as in the maximum security department of Cómbita, in the department of Boyacá; in Picaleña, in Ibagué, the capital of Tolima, and in Jamundí (Valle del Cauca), among others.

In videos recorded by inhabitants of neighborhoods neighboring the different jails in which prisoners are heard shouting "freedom, freedom", and others who celebrate having managed to escape, with sounds that seem to be shot in the background.

The FARC also published videos in which prisoners are seen beating the bars and doors of the prisons and even setting fire to some belongings.


Apparently, the fear of the coronavirus, which already leaves one dead and 210 infected in Colombia, was the trigger for the riots, which nevertheless occur simultaneously in various regions of the country.

The former guerrilla party demanded that the corresponding authorities "take urgent measures to guarantee the life and integrity of these people."

In this regard, the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, assured on social networks that the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute of Colombia (Inpec), which is in charge of managing the prisons, "is facing the mutiny in La Modelo and La Picota."

He added that the Bogotá Security Secretariat coordinates for the Police to offer external reinforcement and guarantee the safety of neighboring neighborhoods.


The FARC recalled that two weeks ago the National Prison Movement (MNC), rejected in a statement "the ineffective policies and actions that Inpec and the government entities have taken in the Colombian prisons."

The inmates assured that the Colombian penitentiary and prison system lives in precariousness "a situation that has manifested itself in the overcrowding of 53% at the national level" and therefore they do not have decent conditions for their survival.

They detail that "not being sufficient infrastructure for the number of people, sanitary problems are aggravated, such as the lack of water supply 24 hours a day; the spread of vectors such as bedbugs, mosquitoes, rats and pigeons; the lack of climatic and environmental conditions, and the miserable cleaning conditions for common spaces. "

They also complain that the health system for people deprived of liberty "collapsed" years ago because the prison health areas do not provide adequate care and there are not enough doctors available for the prison population either.


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