Colombia’s justice minister confirmed Wednesday the country’s scandal-hit prison authority Inpec will be completely dismantled and replaced by a new institution managed by the police.
Inpec has come under fire after a series of scandals. Over the past year, press revealed that politicians were allowed to organize parties or just disappeared from their detention centers while members of the military, incarcerated for serious human rights violations, were kept in almost resort-like conditions.
Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra told reporters that “the idea is that the surgery is deep, to finish with this structure.”
The minister asserted that responsibility for running the country’s prisons would remain in the hands of the state and there would be no privatization or third party contracting in the new authority.
According to Esguerra, one of the priorities of the new authority would be tackling situation with the prison workers’ unions. He said, “Inpec is an entity with 10,800 workers and 29 unions. Some people with the unions have gone 21 years without working a single day, just with the permission of the unions. This has to be addressed from the bottom.”