Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | May 21, 2013

Two years later, inmate privileges continue at the military prison/ resort

The inmate privileges at the military prison — known as Tolemaida Resort — have continued. Military men convicted of grave human rights abuses and serving up to 40 years in prison continue to have the freedom to leave the prison whenever they want. They visit family and stay away from prison two weeks at a time. They vacation at beaches and pool resorts. They shop in Bogota. They frequent brothels. Some even live in luxury condominiums.

Watch here a video of a military man convicted to 40 years in prison but freely shopping in Bogota.

In the prison, they have access to alcohol, cell phones and laptops.

An inmate told Semana magazine, “If half of us who are convicted spoke and told the true history of this war, many colonels and generals would be in the prison here with us.”

Ricardo Calderon, 42, of Semana magazine first exposed the abuses at the military prison in April 2011. At the beginning of the month, as he investigated further, a gunman attempted against his life.

General Sergio Mantilla, the Commander of the Armed Forces, said Tolemaida Prison will soon be closed. Its inmates will be transferred to a new prison about to be built outside Bogota, as well as another one in Bello, Antioquia.

However, it is unlikely this will make any difference. More than two years have passed since the lax rules at the military resort were reported, and the inmates continue to enjoy the same lax lifestyle. In the past, prisoners have revoked any changes by going on hunger strikes, and threatening to talk to the media about what they say are the grave human rights abuses committed by senior military officers.

Related:

Human Rights Watch: no to military jurisdiction to judge military crimes.

Bill that sends military crimes to civilian courts still faces opposition.

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Responses

  1. Its like the prison in Itagui for demobilized AUC. The inmates have teenage prostitutes, marijuana, pistols, cell phones, laptops, and have take out food delivered. I saw all that except for the guns, but I did see how important commanders had bodyguards at their cell doors. The cafeteria is like any restaurant in Colombia, with waiters and even steel knives. It’s like their punishment is a formality, and they don’t really want to punish them.


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