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Scandal in Colombia: A company run by paramilitaries sold sausages with the meat of missing prisoners

Scandal in Colombia: A company run by paramilitaries sold sausages with the meat of missing prisoners

Former director of La Modelo prison. Image courtesy

The former director of Bogotá's La Modelo prison, William Jacharna Castro, has revealed to the Special Judicial Panel for Peace (JEP) details of how paramilitaries operated inside the prison center he once ran.

by: Preaching

In three days of hearings before the JEP, Gacharná's statements revealed by Radio W were allowed to pass after the entity accepted his request in December 2023, which he had requested more than four years earlier.

The former Enpec official admitted that he favored paramilitary forces and admitted other facts in which he also mentioned his conviction regarding the presence of human remains underground in the prison floors.

A wide range of crimes were recorded at La Modelo prison between approximately 1999 and 2003. There were murders, massacres, kidnapping, extortion, weapons theft, and forced disappearances.

According to Jacharna, who served as deputy director between February and November 1999 and director between April and July 2001, he was aware of the crimes being committed in the prison, but did “nothing”.

“I am more than convinced. Our control was minimal. They had many areas to work, and La Modelo's land area was very extensive (sic). “It was impossible for us, the guards, to be able to seize all the tunnels they made,” the former official said, according to W Radio.

According to Gacharna, the bodies were missing due to tunnels and pits that had collapsed or were used exclusively for the disappearance of people by inmates, especially paramilitaries.

According to the station's report, Gacharna received all the information, but despite his knowledge, he never investigated the torture systems that the paramilitaries were setting up, especially in the Modelo prison in Bogotá.

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He also explained in detail the method by which they disposed of the bodies of the dead. The former director said before the JEP: “There was talk of people disappearing into hydrochloric acid, and that people were being cooked in farm kettles, which are huge steam pots used to prepare meals, until they collapsed.”

“There were small businesses promoted by the paramilitaries producing sausages, sausages and hamburger meat that they said were made from human meat,” the former official Gacharna told JEP.

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