Colombia’s public prosecutor suspended all pending arrest warrants of its office in the country’s second largest city, Medellin, accusing the national prison authority of failing to curb overcrowding.
According to Medellin’s prosecutor’s office, it was forced to take the decision due to the “impotence of INPEC,” Colombia’s prison authority that has been failing to curb excessive overcrowding rates for years.
#Fiscalía obligada a suspender órdenes de captura en Medellín por inoperancia del INPEC. Urge solución.
— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) June 15, 2017
The South American country reportedly has approximately 117,000 prisoners while the prisons have a capacity for 76,500 prisoners. However, these reported numbers have been the same since 2014, raising doubts about the veracity of this number.
Following a string of human rights lawsuits, INPEC suspended the admission of new prisoners in a number of Medellin prisons in 2013, leaving dozens literally held in the basement of the local Prosecution’s office while others were sent to prisons in other parts of the country.
Four years and no solution later, the Prosecutor General’s Office has had enough and “urges a solution,” it said on Twitter.
According to Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez, the city’s years-long “prison crisis is worsening,” adding that the “situation at the prosecution and police stations is critical.”
Crisis carcelaria se agrava. Urgen soluciones. Situación en Fiscalía y Estaciones de Policía es crítica.No podemos parar lucha contra crimen https://t.co/kOZtZFHRD7
— Federico Gutiérrez (@FicoGutierrez) June 15, 2017
According to the Mayor, “we cannot stop the fight against crime,” which has been all but successful under his mandate.
While other cities reported drops in their homicide rate in 2016, Medellin saw an increase in homicides.
With the prosecution suspending the execution of arrest warrants, the city’s police department is now unable to arrest any wanted offender or criminal, from fathers who haven’t paid child support to drug lords wanted for extradition.