La Modelo

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La Modelo (English: The Model [Prison]) is a prison in Bogotá, Colombia. With a population of 11,000 inmates, the facility is known for its violence. The prison's north wing is filled with left-wing rebels while the south wing is filled with right-wing government supporters and paramilitaries. The area in between these two wings is where many killings in the prison take place. The prison guards do not carry weapons in the prison, although the ones in the guard towers do control rifles. Prisoners from both sides easily have access to guns and even grenades. Members of FARC continue to drill in their section of the prison. There are restaurants in the prison and one is sponsored by FARC which provides free food to left-wing rebels.[citation needed]

On April 27, 2000, 25 prisoners were murdered in fighting. After the killings and the publicity it created the government began to change the prison order. Many of the private shops have been shut down and security has been stepped up, although inmates still have access to arms.[citation needed]

In 2016, the dismembered remains of at least 100 prisoners and visitors were found in drain pipes at the jail.[1]

On 21 March 2020, about 23 prisoners were killed and 83 injured during a riot which erupted amid fears over spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 through prison walls during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.[2][3] Prisoners across the country were protesting against overcrowding as well as poor health services ever since the outbreak of COVID-19.[4]


  1. ^ "Colombian prison drain pipes yield over 100 dismembered corpses". Japan Times. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Colombia coronavirus: 23 killed in prison riot". Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  3. ^ Vera, Amir. "23 dead in prison riot in Colombia prompted by coronavirus fears, Ministry of Justice says". CNN. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  4. ^ "At least 23 killed in Colombia prison unrest". BBC News. 2020-03-23. Retrieved 2020-03-23.

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