Colombian Prisoners request the ELN to be included in the Peace Process

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Source: Colombia informa / The Dawn News / August 9, 2017

Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano

Non-political prisoners currently imprisoned in the new pavilion of the La Picota prison wrote to the National Liberation Army petitioning to be included in the Peace Process that is currently being discussed with the government. They want to discuss the problems with prisons in Colombia.

In the document, prisoners of the Eron pavilion of the Metropolitan Jail and Penitentiary Complex of Bogotá, known as La Picota, denounce they are “non-organized victims of the State”, because they have had to suffer the “hell” that is prison, which is a “school for crime”, and compare the prison system to Nazi concentration camps.

“Clearly, even though we’re deprived from our freedom, we are still Colombians”, they wrote, “and we want to be included in the benefits of reduction of sentences, because this conflict we are enduring has been going on for 50 years and the country has provided us with no opportunities whatsoever”.

The petition, which was signed by many inmates, is compatible with the proposal that the ELN delegation presented for the Bilateral Ceasefire that is part of the agreement. The guerrilla proposes to “bring humanitarian relief, decrease the intensity of the conflict and benefit the population; to that end we demand the regime to cease:

  • Aggression against the popular movement and the political tendencies for change in Colombia, and to take measures against the authorities and the public force commands that are allied with paramilitarism
  • The non-compliance with Human Rights laws that were conquered by the social movement
  • Actions that cause confinement, displacement, blockade and control of food, medicine and necessary goods for the work and survival of communities
  • Judicialization of social leaders and protests
  • Inhumane overpopulation of prisons, and take effective measures for humanitarian relief for this population”
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