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  • Aerial view of Villavicencio prison, Meta department, Colombia, April 30, 2020.

    Aerial view of Villavicencio prison, Meta department, Colombia, April 30, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @WRadioColombia

Published 1 May 2020
Opinion

This public facility has 1,738 internees and at least 421 COVID-19 confirmed cases.​

Colombia's National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (INPEC) Thursday decided to send a medical team to the Villavicencio prison, a public facility located in the Meta department that has 1,738 inmates and at least 421 COVID-19 cases.

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"They will have to ensure that the social isolation protocol is respected," the INPEC Director Norberto Mujica said.

He also explained that the Penitentiary Services Unit will be in charge of hiring health professionals who will attend the inmates.

The authorities also determined that the inmates should receive legal advice. The decision seeks to benefit them with the "Release Decree."​​​​​

"With the use of infrared thermometers, prisoners and officials of the country's prisons are constantly monitored to verify their health condition."
 

This decision came out after an escape attempt was frustrated in the Villavicencio prison, where the inmates were planning to escape through a tunnel.

Their escape plan was accompanied by a riot attempt, confirmed by prison authorities. During the search, they retained 43 stabbing weapons and four cell phones.​​​​​​​

On Friday morning, Meta's Governor Juan Zuluaga acknowledged that 421 out of 474 COVID-19 cases in his department are inside the Villavicencio prison.

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