Every year, a women’s prison in western Bogota, Buen Pastor, holds a beauty pageant amongst the inmates. The participants wear extravagant outfits, from period costumes to gala dresses. The inmates cheer for their favorite candidate.
The judges this year were local TV celebrities.
The winner, picked among seven girls, was Juliana Urdinola Henao. Juliana is 23 years old, and is serving 37 years and 9 months for the homicide of a unionist.
Juliana is the daughter of Iván Urdinola, one of the most feared drug traffickers of the Norte del Valle cartel. Her mother is Lorena Henao, who was also a former inmate of Buen Pastor and served eight years for money laundering.
The second winner, crowned as the queen mother of the prison, is Miryam Fonseca. She is 48 years old and is serving 54 months in prison for attempting to smuggle drugs into another prison where she routinely visited her son. She said the money she was to be paid, about US $150 dollars, was destined to pay her schooling.
This one day a year gives the women a change of pace and a sense of camaraderie, as they prep and cheer for their candidate.