Colombia’s Congress will call for the closure of a prison in Valledupar, the capital of the northeast Colombian department of Cesar, after discovering appalling conditions that include a lack of water and traces of feces in the prison food, newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday.
A group of congress members from the House’s Human Rights Commission will ask the government Tuesday to close the prison in Valledupar, at least on a temporary basis, after an inspection Monday accompanied by the inspector general, the ombudsman and the comptroller found irregularities in the sanitary conditions at the facility.
Congressman Ivan Cepeda reported that the 1,300 inmates housed in the prison “have to relieve themselves in plastic bags and throw them through the bars.”
Laboratory test results from the Ministry of Health in the Cesar department, that Cepeda reportedly has in his possession, find that, at least since 2008, traces of fecal matter have been found in the food served to prisoners in Valledupar.
“It’s hell,” Cepeda stated, adding that the prison is inviable.
Local Ombudsman Volmar Perez solicited the national prison authority INPEC to transfer some prisoners or reduce the prison population in Valledupar, in order to help advance measures to guarantee drinkable water to the inmates, who have been protesting the unsanitary conditions in the prison for over one month, according to the ombudsman.
In addidition to the lack of proper sanitary conditions for inmates, Cepeda also reported that there have been 690 prisoner complaints of abuse from 2002 until last March, 95 of which are pending and 37 are in the judicial process.