Colombia’s departing Director of the National Institute of Penitentiaries and Prisons [INPEC] on Tuesday revealed that there are over 3,000 guerrillas in prisons either convicted or being investigated for political crimes.
According to local media, INPEC director, General Gustavo Adolfo Ricaurte, gave a report to the national government stating that there are 3,361 people in prison for alleged rebellion and sedition related crimes. Of those 3,361 prisoners, 2,076 have already been convicted while 1,285 are under investigation. Most of these prisoners are being held in the Valledupar, Chiquinquira, Popayan and Picota [Bogota] prisons.
The report Ricaurte handed over is significant since the government is in the midst of peace negotiations with the country’s largest and longest-standing rebel group, FARC. Since April 2 when FARC allegedly released all of their hostages, a claim that has recently come under fire from members of the rebel group’s own peace negotiators, the guerrillas have stressed the need to both confirm the conditions of their imprisoned comrades and possibly negotiate their release.
The INPEC report is allegedly already in the hands of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his team of negotiators.