One inmate has been killed and at least three others injured after a fight broke out in a northern Colombia prison during visiting time, reported local media.
According witnesses, many of whom were wives, girlfriends and mothers visiting their loved ones in the Cartagena prison, a man was shot several times with a firearm at 3.30pm during a violent conflict between inmates.
The relatives of the inmates revealed afterwards how they were abused by the guards at the time of the revolt and were refused information by INPEC, Colombia’s national prison authority, as to the fate of their relatives.
“It all happened so suddenly. As soon as I realized anything there was a battle, with INPEC guards throwing tear gas. Women were practically being kicked and now we know nothing of our people in there.“ said the mother of one inmate.
Commander of the Metropolitan Police, General Carlos Rodriguez, admitted that security controlling the prison struggled to get control of the situation.
He said. “We could not get control. The Inpec is now restoring order within the prison.”
This is the latest in a series of incidents which has brought to the fore the poor state of the prisons in Colombia, in particular in regards to overcrowding.
Earlier on in the month the country’s prison director Gustavo Ricaurte Tapia announced his resignation in December, citing the problem of overcrowding in Colombia’s prisons as one of his main reasons.