Up to 27 prison directors in Colombia have received threats against them: “There is a tense atmosphere”

Up to 27 prison directors in Colombia have received threats against them: “There is a tense atmosphere”
Up to 27 prison directors in Colombia have received threats against them: “There is a tense atmosphere”

Colonel Gutiérrez stated that there are 27 prison directors threatened – credit Inpec

The murder of the director of the La Modelo prison, Colonel Elmer Fernández, on May 17, 2024, has focused public attention on the security of the officials of the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (Inpec), since more than 500 threats had been registered against this entity’s servers.

The absence of a security scheme to protect Fernández caused criticism against Inpec to increase, so the director of the entity, Colonel Daniel Gutiérrez has indicated on more than one occasion that protection was being managed before the crime was recorded..

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Added to this, in an interview with TimeGutiérrez spoke about the reality experienced by more than 500 Inpec officials who have received threats against them.

Gutiérrez spoke about the security problems that Inpec has – Inpec credit

Firstly, the colonel revealed that in total there are 548 threats against Inpec officials, of which 27 are against prison directors, added to another situation that puts officials at risk in various areas of the country.

“Since the prison emergency was declared, around 111 security councils have been made throughout the country, and the first thing we also began to do with the UNP and the Ministry of Justice was to review all these threats, and we were able to establish that We have 548 threats to prison officials, among those 27 directors, and we prioritized 15 prison directors throughout the country who also had security situations.Among them we have La Picota, El Buen Pastor, Cómbita, Palmira, Popayán, Valledupar, Tuluá, among others,” declared the director of Inpec.

Regarding the support they have received from the National Protection Unit (UNP), Gutiérrez stated that together with the National Police, an articulation team has been created with which 15 directors have been prioritized to receive increased security.

“The UNP has been very willing, we believe that they are going to generate a more dynamic protocol to generate these schemes, they are calling the directors, they are reviewing the level of risks,” said Gutiérrez.

The murder of Colonel Fernández exposed the reality with which Inpec officials who have been threatened live – credit Colprensa/NoticiasRCN

Again, mentioning the security that was not provided to Colonel Fernández, the director of Inpec spoke about the protocols that exist to request protection, indicating that his entity is not responsible for the delay times in those cases.

“In order to have a security scheme or an armored vehicle one has to be a complaint, and part of a threat; Then you must fill out some requirements, which are forms, and then that is sent to the UNP and there they do the risk level studies, These are issues that they really handle, one could not say how long they take and what they evaluate, but that is what we have knowledge of what is done.“Gutiérrez stated to Time.

Regarding the current situation in the country’s prisons, the director of Inpec revealed that there is “fear” because there have been five murders of officials so far this year, which is why he indicated that one of the short-term objectives is offer security and peace of mind to servers.

“It is not only La Modelo, but throughout the country There is a tense, difficult, complicated atmosphere, of nerves, of fear in the face of acts of violence, we have a director murdered, four officials during this year 2024. The idea is to continue with the coordination of the Police, to have more constant reviews, to also have more robust support for places where they are more rural and to be able to give that peace of mind to officials, which is not easy. The acts of violence are perpetrated by violent people and here they are responsible,” Gutiérrez pointed out.

 
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