Members of the ruling coalition in Colombia’s congress on Tuesday proposed dissolving the national prison authority INPEC amid accumulating allegations of widespread corruption and overcrowding.
The initiative, put forward by members of President Juan Manuel Santos‘ U party and the coalition Liberal Party, criticized INPEC’s inefficiency and recommended the institution be replaced by another administrative unit under the authority of the Ministry of Defense, according to Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper.
This comes as INPEC is experiencing intense criticism over its inability to cope with the problem overcrowding, which it itself estimates at more than 50% nationally.
Corruption is also among the chief complaints of the congress members, as the Prosecutor-General has reportedly received 30 allegations against the institution.
There are accusations that prisons guards accepted $10,000 to allow convicted drug trafficker Camilo Torres, alias “Tarifanga,” access to cell phones while incarcerated. Torres claimed this in a confession to police a day before being extradited to the United States.
Another issue discussed was the existence of 52 prison labor unions after a commitment was given to Colombia’s vice president that they would be reduced to a single syndicate.