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Colombia: Arrest warrants suspended in Medellín due to prison overcrowding, rise in crime possible

Arrest warrants suspended in Medellín due to prisons being 153 percent over capacity, rise in crime possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 18/6/2017, 12h00 until 18/6/2017, 11h59 (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Caribbean coast


On Thursday, June 15, the Office of the Attorney General announced that it will be suspending arrest warrants in Medellín due to prison overcrowding. Multiple unions that represent prison workers have prevented adding additional prisoners. A rise in crime is possible.

However, government officials stated that individuals caught committing crimes will still be arrested.


Some human rights defenders have criticized the conditions in the area’s prisons, stating that a prison in Bello currently holds 4832 inmates but only has capacity for 2224 people. According to local reports, inmates at the Prosecutor’s Office in Medellín began a hunger strike on Sunday, June 11 to protest the poor conditions.

Despite aid from the United States to improve prison conditions, the prison system is plagued by corruption and is currently at 153 percent capacity.

Due to active paramilitary, criminal, and drug trafficking organizations, Colombia has a particularly high crime rate.


Due to the presence of a number of armed groups – including organized crime groups, drug cartels, right-wing paramilitaries, and local gangs – many Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country (particularly rural zones), with the notable exceptions of the northern Caribbean regions and central areas (including Bogotá).

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