About 100 bodies in a prison sewer in Bogota, Colombia, have caused a major investigation in the South American country. According to CNN, authorities in the area are concerned after information suggested that bodies may have been intentionally dismembered and tossed into a sewer under one of the largest prisons in the country. Sources say that there may be more than 100 bodies and body parts in the sewer and that they may have been there, decaying, for nearly two decades. This may have also occurred at other prison facilities in the country, although bodies have not been found in any other locations at this time.
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2016
“The investigation is focusing on La Modelo, one of Colombia’s largest and most overpopulated prisons. But officials say the practice of dismembering people and tossing their remains into sewers might have also happened at other prisons in cities such as Popayan, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla between 1999 and 2001 and possibly later.”
The 100 bodies in the prison sewer may have been tossed there during a two-year period when inmates overtook the prison. According to NewsMax, the bodies were found during an investigation in a case involving two former paramilitary group members, Mario Jaimes Mejía and Alejandro Cardenas Orozco, both of whom are in prison, facing charges of face torture, kidnapping, and rape. The report indicates that Mejía had control of a particular area of the prison several years ago. The area in the prison is where disappearances were reported.
“I’m grateful for the actions being taken today, but it should’ve happen years ago. El Panadero’s testimony taken more than 15 years ago, his version of the story, which is completely false, was endorsed by a prosecutor (with the Colombian attorney general’s office) and that allowed for the process to stall and the case to remain in impunity,” said Jineth Bedoya, a journalist who was reportedly kidnapped and raped in May 2000 while investigating the case.
— EntornoInteligente (@ENTORNOi) February 10, 2016
The 100 bodies in the prison sewer have sparked concern across the country, but people many seem to be pleased with the efforts of the authorities working on this case and are hopeful for some answers.
— Latin Dispatch (@LatinAmDispatch) February 18, 2016
“Fifteen years later, not a single perpetrator has been convicted for these acts, and Jineth’s case has become synonymous with the impunity that plagues Colombia’s justice system. Although several perpetrators have been identified and apprehended, no convictions have been made, and the judiciary has mishandled the case on several occasions,” the International Freedom of Expression Exchange said on its website.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the investigation into the dead bodies found in the sewer have turned up other major issues. The Colombian prison conditions are absolutely deplorable. This isn’t the first time that such information has been reported, either. Back in 2012, the Colombian Inspector General’s Office conducted an investigation looking into La Picota and La Modelo.
What was found was “overcrowding, lack of hygiene, and absence of care for prison inmates,” according to the Justice For Colombia website. It is apparent that not much has been done to curb these issues or to make the conditions better for the inmates. It is unclear if there is a clear plan for rectifying these problems at La Modelo prison.
The 100 bodies found in the prison sewer will be identified by forensics experts in the coming weeks. Many will need to be identified by dental records, as their bodies have decayed over the years. If additional bodies are found at other prisons, the investigation will undoubtedly be broadened.
[Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]