Government statistics suggest that Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has all but collapsed since chief prosecutor Francisco Barbosa took office.
According to the statistics, the Prosecutor General’s Office successfully prosecuted 11,816 criminals in 2022, which is 0.7% of the 1,648,388 crimes reported by citizens last year.
In January, prosecutors were actively involved in 109,394 criminal investigation, raising questions about what happened to the other crimes reported by victims.
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The prosecution statistics suggest a gradual collapse of the Prosecutor General’s Office, which accelerated after the Supreme Court elected Barbosa as chief prosecutor in January 2020.
The statistic show a 58% increase in reported crimes since 2010, when the prosecution allegedly received 1,036,845 reports from citizens.
The convictions reported by the prosecution last year are 16.7% of the 70,939 convictions reported in 2010.
Between 2019 and last years, convictions dropped a staggering 68%, according to the prosecution.
The prosecution speaks with results
Prosecutor General’s Office
Less convictions, but no less prison overcrowding
The prosecution’s apparent collapse may be bad for public security, but apparently allowed Colombia’s prison authority INPEC to report a major reduction in overcrowding between 2019 and 2021.
Justice Minister Nestos Osuna provided Congress with statistics last month suggesting that the number of prisoners went up again in 2022 despite the dramatic drop in criminal convictions.
This increase in prisoners may be due to multiple factors like an increase in pre-trial detentions or administrative failures to timely release convicted inmates.
How to cover up failures
Barbosa has tried to cover up his apparently disastrous management of the Prosecutor General’s Office by claiming that a crime is solved when the prosecution says so.
This is false, because only a judge can decide if a crime is solved if evidence confirms a prosecution claim and rules out the possible involvement of other people in a crime.