Top criminals throw lavish parties at Colombia’s high security prison

A convicted embezzler of millions in state funds has turned Colombia’s most important high security prison into his private disco with live music and smuggled rum, reported magazine Semana on Sunday.

High security prison La Picota is supposed to be one of Colombia’s most strict, watched and secure prisons as it is home to high-profile inmates including top drug lords and corrupt politicians.

Therefore, for those unfamiliar with Colombia’s corrupt prison system it might come as a surprise that new videos that surfaced show the prison appearing more like a Caribbean disco with accordions, guitars, singers and an audience drinking rum and whiskey.

The happy assembly this time caught on film consisted of some of Colombia’s most notorious convicted fraudsters, having embezzled for more than $500 million from the Bogota treasury in an elaborate kick-back scheme.

MORE: 5 more congressmen implicated in Bogota’s $500M embezzlement scandal

The event manager of the filmed social gathering was Emilio Tapia, one of the main characters in the Bogota corruption scandal, one of the biggest robberies of public funds in recent history. Tapia alone is believed to have embezzled $4 million dollars.

Besides him the assembly consist of a Venezuelan drug trafficker, three paramilitaries, and another embezzler.

In the video, all convicts are seen chatting on their Blackberry cellphones who they are not supposed to have while in prison.

The party was not a one-time event; parties can take place anywhere between Monday to Friday, and have generated fights between inmates because Tapia and his gathering play loud music when they are drunk.

Besides alcohol and loud speakers, Tapia also gets seafood and fine meat smuggled in to the prison, allegedly with the prison guards’ knowledge and help.

Corruption and overcrowding inside prisons has gotten so bad that Colombia’s governing coalition proposed to dissolve national prison authority INPEC.

MORE: Coalition wants Colombia’s prison authority dismantled amid ongoing scandals


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