doc. 22
30 June 1981
Original:  Spanish






A.       General Considerations


          1.       In this chapter the Commission looks at two aspects relating to the observance of human rights in Colombia.  One is the prison system and the other relates to unlawful treatment and torture.


          Colombia¢s basic legal structure recognized the guarantee of the right to personal security and humane treatment.  Article 23 of the Constitution, mentioned in an earlier chapter, states, “No one may be molested in his person or family, imprisoned or arrested or detained.. except by virtue of a warrant issued by competent authority, with all legal formalities and for cause previously defined by law.”


          2.       The penal code that went into effect on January 29, 1981, contains specific rules on this right.  Some of these rules were not included in the proceeding procedural law.  In this sense, for “crimes against personal security,”  regulated in the third chapter of Title X of that code, it provides, “any person who subjects another to physical or mental torture shall be liable to imprisonment of one (1) to three (3) years, provided that the act does not constitute a crime punishable by longer sentences.” [2]/


          According to the same criminal code, the existing major punishments are imprisonment, confinement and fine.  Imprisonment and confinement consisted of “deprivation of personal liberty, to be carried out in the places and in the manner provided for by law.”


          3.       In addition, Colombia¢s present criminal legislation covers personal injury in matters pertaining to crimes against personal integrity and regulates the punishment of those who inflict injury to the body of another person or to their health. [3]/


          4.       Likewise, the Code of Military Criminal Justice regulates crimes against personal security.  It specifies personal injury as well as the punishments that are given to military personnel who, in their service or as a result of it or of the functions inherent in their position and without the intention of causing death, inflict upon another person bodily injury or injury to health or mental disturbance. [4]/


          5.       During the on-site investigation, the Commission was interested in determining objectively the situation regarding the prison system and unlawful punishment and torture.  To that end, it visited several prisons and detention centers in different parts of the country. It spoke with the prisoners and accepted claims referring to the right of personal security and humane treatment.


          6.       In an interview held on April 21, 1980, the President of the Republic told the Commission that the situation of prison establishments in Colombia could not be considered comfortable.  It is one of over-crowding, especially in the provincial facilities.  This situation is attributable to both the population increase and to budget limitations.  He added that as a result of the Constitutional Reform of 1979, a substantial investment would be included in the national budget for improving prison facilities.  In addition, President Turbay Ayala told the Commission that he could not rule out the possibility that lower authorities had violated human rights, a situation, which the government flatly refused to allow.  He also said that claims of human rights abuses had been investigated fully by the office of the Procurator-General of the nation in order to determine who was responsible for such deeds.


B.       Prison System


          1.       Colombia¢s prison system is regulated by Decree No. 1817 of 1964.


          The Minister of Justice of Colombia stated to the Commission that on the basis of Article 62 of the Constitutional Reform of 1979, a large part of public funds will be invested in the construction of new prison establishments and in modernizing existing facilities. [5]/  He also stated that the Colombian prison population will decrease in upcoming months when Law No. 22 of September 17, 1980, goes into effect.  This law issued regulations designed to secure prompt and effective administration of justice.  Other laws in this area have been passed for the development of the foregoing law, known as the judicial Emergency Law.  The Minister of justice explained that Colombia¢s courts have approximately three million cases on their dockets.  Of these, 60% are criminal proceedings.  Implementation of law No. 22 law will create 884 new magistrate and assistant and associate judge positions.  These persons will be in charge of issuing warrants and sentences under the responsibility of the heads of the judicial branch.  The officer stated that the law provides that the accused person shall regain his freedom if a hearing decreed by an order to proceed is not carried out within a year.  The fact is that many people have been detained without their legal situation having been defined and the new procedures will help to alleviate overcrowded conditions in jails.


          Furthermore, the Minister of Justice stated that current imprisonment rules dating from 1964 would be amended or replaced by new rules.  The draft of this law should be submitted to the Congress of the Republic for approval in committee composed of four magistrates who will develop a new national police code and new rules on the prison system.


          2.       Decree No. 1817 of 1964, which reforms the prison code of 1935 and makes additions to it, and which constitutes the current legal structure for this area, regulates the establishment, organization, management, administration, budget and supervision of the penitentiaries, national agricultural colonies, jails in the seats of judicial districts and jails in cities where there is a Superior court, under the control of the Ministry of Justice.  It provides that the prison service is to be divided into the following centers: a) rural and urban penitentiaries; b) district jails; c) municipal jails; d) military jails; e) agricultural, industrial and combination colonies; f) women¢s jails; g) criminal tuberculosis sanitariums; h) asylums for the criminally insane; I) psychiatric wards; and j) institutions for protection of recently released prisoners.


          The decree also established that all detained or sentenced persons would be provided lodging, food and bed, payable by the state or the municipalities, when appropriate.  They will also be given education and work opportunities consistent with their human dignity and sentenced persons will also be entitled to clothing and footwear.  The dormitories or cells should have conditions necessary for cleanliness, hygiene, air, light and space, according to the prescriptions set forth or determined by the respective medical personnel.  All sentenced or detained persons must have at least four cubic meters of air space in their dormitories.  All the prison establishments must have outside yards or additional land, with proper security, where the detained or sentenced persons can enjoy movement and exercise necessary to their health or repose.  Finally, daily food is obligatory for all detained or sentenced persons.  In accordance with the decree regulating the prison system, for as long as the adaptations and reforms of the detention facilities are being carried out and the sentences being fulfilled, the rules in effect for the prisoners are determined in accordance with the crimes discussed in the criminal code. [6]/


          3.       According to a document issued by the General Prisons Office, which was turned over to the Commission in January 1981, by the Ministry of justice, Colombia¢s prison system is based on the following concepts:


EDUCATION:  Includes all matters relating to instruction, literacy training, and spiritual and psychological counseling.


DISCIPLINE:  The foundation of the organization of the community in which the prisoners must abide by certain rules for internal order.


Furthermore, the government is concerned with the overall health of prisoners since it believes that health is the foundation of rehabilitation.  Good health predisposes the prisoner to work, study and accept the rules and regulations as one phase of rehabilitation treatment.


The progressive system is used, ending with preparations for liberty and preparatory privileges which is the immediate preparation for freedom.


There is a home for former prisoners, which helps those gaining their freedom to obtain work, clothing and fare to return to their place of origin, if necessary.  They may remain at this former prisoner¢s home for up to 15 days with good lodging and food.


          The same document points out that, Colombia¢s jails have 33,957 prisoners counting both sentences and detained persons.  The National Prisons Office controls 188 detention and sentence establishments in the country, distributed as follows: ten jails for women; seven penitentiaries; 22 circuit court jails; one jail for military personnel located in Tolemaida; one jail for police officers located in Twelfth Police Station; one agricultural penal colony located in Acacias and one prison in Gorgona.  Long sentences are served at the penitentiaries.  Shorter sentences are served in the jails.  Those accused of the crime or rebellion are kept in penitentiaries and judicial district jails.


          As concerns the budget financing proposal for Colombia¢s penitentiary system, the aforementioned document provides the following data:




Construction, equipment and repair of jails           80,260,000

Equipment for farms and jail workshops                 7,940,000

Training of administrative personnel of jail

Establishments                                                  1,000,000

Training of guard and security personnel                 3,000,000

Social Counseling for prisoners                              4,000,000

Penitentiary investigation                                       500,000

Administration of Women¢s jail at Medellín                 100,000



          Administration and Penitentiary system                   85,461,000

          Personnel services                                             193,375,000



          Prisoner food expenses                                     437,863,000 [7]/


C.       Jails and other Detention Centers


          1.       During its on-site investigation the Commission visited several jails and military centers in Colombia.  It conducted personal inspections of these facilities in order to develop an objective idea of the conditions in Colombia¢s prison system.


          The centers that make up Colombia¢s prison systems are for holding persons sentenced for common crimes but they are also used for person¢s accused of subversive activities by the government.


2.       The Commission¢s visits to these centers included looks at the cellblocks for different types of prisoners, and, in general terms, a view of the structure and operation of the centers.  During these visits, the Commission exchanged ideas with the authorities of the centers and also spoke with some prisoners.  During the visits the members explained the Commission¢s objective in Colombia.


As a result of its visits to these centers, the Commission also took special initiatives regarding the health of several prisoners held at different jails in the country.  It sent letters to the Colombian government requesting the necessary medical care for each case in communications dated April 2 and May 2 of 1980.  On July 28, 1980, the commission received note No. 01446 from the Colombian government, through the Ministry of foreign Affairs.  This note states,  “According to information form Col. Adolfo Leon Gómez Isaza, the Director General of Prisons, medical care was given opportunely to the Director General of Prisons, medical care was given opportunely to the personas referred to in the communications of April 29 and May 2, 1980.”


3.       The Commission¢s evaluation of the detention establishments it visited follows:


a)       La Picota Central Penitentiary in Bogotá


          This is a jail for men located in the city of Bogotá.  The facility, of old construction and traditional style, is isolated and well protected.  The penitentiary houses prisoners who were important leaders of the M-19.  This jail has a considerable criminal population.  It is a large facility and the prisoners there are rather well taken care of, despite the limitations noted.  It is surrounded by high walls and its inside  yard is usable for recreation.


          The Commission toured the entire establishment.  It interviewed authorities of the prison that provided it with full facilities for this purpose.  Interviews with several prisoners revealed no complaints about the conditions of the establishment, the food or the treatment they received.  In general, however, prisoners who were not common criminals made reference to being mistreated and tortured while being investigated by not at the detention center itself.


          La Picota jail has a rather large chapel, which in recent months has been used for the oral courts-martial-martial of persons accused of being members of the M-19, a nursing center which provides medical care and a punishment yard used for individual treatment of prisoners given special disciplinary punishment.


          The cells are small in size but each prisoner has his own unit containing a bed, desk and seat.  Prisoners are allowed to have books, magazines, radios, and other personal articles in their own cells.  They do not wear prisoner uniforms but whatever clothing they desire.  It can be said that the guard’s regular visits from their families and their defense attorneys.


          b)       Model Prison in Bogotá


          This is a penitentiary center located in the city of Bogotá.  The Commission was received by its director who, in offering his cooperation, stated that the center is a district jail with a very high criminal population which exceeds its capacity.  The jail houses both common criminals and others detained on the order of the Military Institutes Brigade.  He also said that the rear part of this facility had been dynamited, resulting in the escape of several prisoners, and that it is a detention center for men.


          The Commission was told that the prison was originally designed to hold approximately 2, 000 prisoners.  At this time, however, it housed more than 4,000.  The criminal population is fluctuating.


          With respect to those accused of subversive activities, the center director stated that they are divided essentially into two groups.


          The Commission went through the establishment and inspected its five yards.  It met with a certain number of prisoners in each of these yards.  Several prisoners complained of the poor conditions in the prison, poor food and insufficient medical care.  Most of the prisoners under the military criminal justice system are accused of belonging to the FARC and are being tried at his time by the appropriate oral court-martial.  Most of the prisoners interviewed told the Commission that they had been mistreated and tortured during their investigations and interrogations but not at the penal center itself.  Some of them showed the marks of the mistreatment they received.


          Furthermore, the Commission noted the existence of an area of special cellblock for minors, age 16 to 18, in which there were no individual cells.  There is a large room, which serves as a common dormitory, and next to it are sanitary services and showers.  This center also has a cafeteria run by a social worker and a nutritionist.  It has individual rooms where the minors attend classes.  The facility has six teachers for primary education.


          The prisoners do not wear any type of uniform.  The cells are small and the prisoners are allowed to have personal objects in them.  They are allowed regular visits from family members and defense attorneys.


          c)       The Buen Pastor Jail in Bogotá


          This detention center for women is located in Bogotá.  The Commission was attended by the Assistant Minister of Justice who offered his full cooperation and facilities for the fulfillment of the Commission’s objective.  Also present were the director, the assistant director, the legal consul and two social corkers of this prison.  The director stated that the jail was exclusively for women and that at that time id had 417 women prisoners and 20 women sentenced for subversion.  The director also noted that the prisoners received uniform treatment, no matter if their crimes were common crimes or crimes against the security of the state.


          The visitors system is regulated by a set of rules, but visits of defense attorney are regulated by specific instructions of judge.  The reason for this measure, it was explained, is that on several occasions’ attorneys who were not the actual attorneys appointed by the prisoners have sought entry.


          The rules also allow for conjugal visits and special treatment of pregnant prisoners.  The latter are allowed to leave the jail to have their children, although, according to several prisoners, this has not always been carried out.  Several prisoners have had their children in jail.  Close to the jail is a small school for the prisoner’s children.


          The Commission was also told that the prisoners are classified according to a procedure, which consists, first of all, of gathering biographical data about them after which they are divided by type of crime committed.  After this, they are assigned to the corresponding cellblock.


          The Buen Pastor jail consists of large installations in a relatively new structure.  It has large yards and long corridors, with cellblocks on the sides.  In addition, there is a special cellblock for psychiatric treatment.  The cellblocks interconnect with a center block and the cells, although individual in design, hold two persons each.


          Only a few prisoners were being held for subversion at the time of the Commission’s visit.  They stated that they had been subjected to mistreatment and torture during their interrogations but not at their present place of detention.


          d)       Bellavista jail in Medellín


          This is a jail for men located in the city of Medellín, in a part of the city somewhat removed from the downtown area.  This is a rather large installation and two additions scheduled for completion in 1981 are now being built.


          The penitentiary center is overcrowded.  It has more than 5,000 prisoners although its capacity is much smaller.  At the jail entrance is a blackboard showing the number of prisoners in the different cellblocks.  Prisoners sentenced for common crimes and those accused of crimes of subversion are mixed due to the overcrowding at the jail.  According to the rules, prisoners should be separated by type of crime committed.


          The penitentiary has workshops for carpentry, metal-working, furniture-making, shoe repair, metal-casting, mechanics and electricity.  It also has a chapel, a medial center and a large number of cells, all of which were seen by the Commission.  During the tour, jail authorities gave explanations of the facilities to the Commission.


          The Commission was told that the number of prisoners entering the jail fluctuates daily and that the number of prisoners who have not committed common crimes is approximately 300.


          The Commission was welcomed by the director of the jail, and his legal advisors.  All of these individuals are civilians.  These authorities gave their full cooperation to the Commission during the visit.  The Commission met privately with a certain number of prisoners in the jail chapel.  They were folds that despite the overcrowding, the prisoner’s conditions were rather acceptable.  None of the prisoners complained of mistreatment in the penal center itself or of poor food or extremely rigid discipline.  They said that the jail¢s authorities behaved correctly.  However, most of the prisoners being held for subversive activity stated that they had been tortured during their investigations and interrogations.


          e)       Villanueva jail in Cali

          This jail for men is located in the city of Cali.  The Commission visited it and met with several of the prisoners, after having spoken first with jail authorities.  The director, who has taken studies in penal matters and criminology and has experience in this field, gave full explanations and the criminology and has experience in this field, gave full explanations and the Commission could see that he knew each of the prisoners well.  It also saw that there was a climate of mutual trust.  The prisoners praised the conduct of the director of this penal center.


          As stated before, the Commission met with several prisoners.  Those who were being held as suspects in subversive activities told the Commission that, in general, during the interrogation following their arrest, they were mistreated and tortured, but not at the jail.  They stated that they were satisfied with the system followed by the jail’s authorities.


          The Villanueva jail consists of rather old installations which, despite their size, are obviously overcrowded.  A special program for those sentenced for common crimes allow them to work outside of the jail and they are able to help their families. They return to the detention center at night.


          f)       Model jails in Bucaramanga


          This jail center is located in the city of Bucaramanga, within the limits of the city itself.  The Commission was received by the director, who gave explanations about the center and answered all question addressed to him,


          The director stated that the jail had more prisoners than it was designed for, that most of the prisoners were common criminals and that the others were there for subversive activities.


          The construction of the jail is old and not very large.  The Commission saw a relatively small yard where the prisoners stay during the morning hours until the afternoon, engaging in conversation, study or other activities without interruption.


          The Commission met with a large number of prisoner’s accused of crimes of subversion in the prison chapel.  They stated that since their arrival at the jail, they had been treated satisfactory.  They also stated that in the prior stage of interrogation, they had been mistreated and tortured, but not at the jail itself.  The cells are small and the ones that the Commission saw open to the aforementioned yard.  Most of the prisoners that the Commission saw were in the yard while others were in their cells, which were left open.


          g)       The Buen Pastor jail in Bucaramanga


          This is a correctional facility for women located in the city of Bucaramanga.  Its installations are rather large and of old construction, with bedrooms that are used as cells.  It was visited by the Commission whose members spoke to the nuns who are in charge of the jail, as well as a large number of prisoners, all whom were there for subversive activities.


          The Commission inspected a large room where the prisoner’s children are kept.  Their mothers are with them during the day.


          The prisoners interviewed by the Commission stated that during their investigations and interrogations following their arrest, they were mistreated and tortured by that was not the case at the jail itself.  They added that, generally speaking, they received satisfactory treatment there.  However, they stated that at certain times, they are not allowed to do certain things such as listen to the radio or read newspapers.


          The prisoners are taken care of, by nuns belonging to the Sisters of the Presentation Order.  This Order is responsible for the detention center.  They help the prisoners in different activities, among them, washing and ironing of clothing class room, a sewing room to make clothing for small children and a classroom for primary education.


          Most of the prisoners are there for having committed common crimes, primarily theft and murder.  The Commission inspected two cells for those being held incommunicado where, it was said, prisoners are kept before going to interrogation.  The purpose of this is to keep them from mixing with others held for prior processing.  The Commission also saw a punishment cell which was extremely small.  It had an iron door, no window and was extremely dark.


          The commission saw that this jail had very good sanitary conditions and was kept clean.  It has large yards and gardens, which are the recreation areas for the prisoners.  There is an atmosphere for trust and respect between the prisoners and the nuns.


          h)       Military centers


          During its on-site investigation and after it, the Commission visited several military centers, all located in Bogotá.  Some of these centers were used for provisional detention.  A summary appraisal of these centers follows:


                   i) Artillery School


          This center is located in the capital city of Colombia, approximately two miles from the La Picota prison.  The artillery School is a provisional detention center for women. When it was visited by the Commission, 16 women prisoners were being held there accused of crimes against state security.  They are waiting to be tried by the oral court-marital in Bogotá.  Several of the prisoners were brought there from other jails in Colombia.  This detention place consists of a large room, which is used as a dormitory, allowing no privacy, Next to this room is a bathroom with two sanitary services a shower.  Visits from family members and attorney are allowed every eight days, on a schedule of 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon.  Officials of the commission met privately in the cafeteria with several prisoners who stated that after their arrest they ere hit and then tortured.


                   ii)       Cavalry school


          This is a military center located on the outskirts of Bogotá where prisoners accused of subversive activity is kept temporarily for purposes of interrogation during the investigation stage.  The installations are rather large, with small green areas located in different parts.  It has an area of administrative offices, prisoner records and control area, and numerous cells located next to each other in cellblocks on a single floor which open to the yards.  The cells are individual and the prisoners are kept in them with the doors closed.  They are kept under permanent guard.  The facility also has a water trough area, multifamily buildings for facility officers a shed and a garden.


                   iii)       Military Institute Brigade


          This is a modern building with strictly military-type installations.  It has offices for executive and administrative functions and no detention facilities.  It is across a street from the Cavalry School.


                   iv)      Baraya Batallion



          This is a large, well-protected military center with spacious buildings and large yards.  In 1978 it was a provisional detention center.  This place was the location of the oral court-martial of person’s accused of belonging to the FARC.


D.       Mistreatment and Torture


          1.       In late 1978 and during the first few months of 1979, the Commission received several claims relating to mistreatment and different types of torture by Colombian public agents.


          The Commission stated processing these charges by remitting to the government the pertinent parts of them, in accordance with its regulations. The purpose of this was to establish objectively the veracity of the charges.


          2.       During its on-site investigation, the Commission received testimony relating to the charges contained in the individual written claims, which ere given to it at that time, and in its interviews with prisoners being held in different jails of the country, with their defense attorneys and with human rights organizations which turned over several documents on this matter to the Commission.  In general, the charges state that the physical mistreatment and the torture were carried out at temporary detention places or centers during the interrogation stage of the investigations.


          3.       The charges received and analyzed by the Commission mention the following detention places or centers where the mistreatment and torture were carried out:


1)                 Nueva Granada Batallion of Barrancabermeja;

2)                 Pichincha Batallion in Cali;

3)                 Inocencio Chinca School of Popayán;

4)                 Fifth Brigade of Bucaramanga;

5)                 Cavalry School in Bogotá

6)                 La Remonta;

7)                 Military Institutes Brigade;

8)                 Rook Batallion of Ibaqué;

9)                 Bolívar Batallion in Tunja, Boyacá;

10)             Sogamoso Batallion;

11)             Sacramonte Caves;

12)             Cisneros Batallion of Armenia;

13)             Codazzi Batallion of Palmira;

14)             Tarqui Batallion, Sogamoso, Boyacá;

15)             La Raya camp in Antioquia;

16)             Polvorines camp in Rio Meléndez;

17)             Villanueva Jail;

18)             San Mateo Batallion;

19)             Military Police Batallion No. 4, Fourth Brigade in Medellín;

20)             Santa Elena;

21)             Administrative Security Department (DAS);

22)             San Isidro Penitentiary in Popayán;

23)             Batallion No. 1 of the Military Police of Bogotá;

24)             National Penitentiary at Palmira;

25)             Military Post of Yacopí;

26)             La Palma Police Station in Bucaramanga;

27)             Cimitarra Military Station;

28)             Bucaramanga Military Station;

29)             La Victoria Military Station in Boyacá;

30)             Boyacá Batallion;

31)             Military Police Batallion H-1 of Puente Aranda in Bogotá. [8]/


4.       The charges mention the following among the different forms and methods of torture: Long waits in the sun during the day and sleeping outside at night; drowning and submerging in water; application of the “submarine”; being blindfolded up to 12, 17 and 20 days; being blindfolded and tied for 47 days in Cimitarra; subjection to blows on different parts of the body with sticks and being kicked; being prevented from sleeping up to eight days and lack of rest; death threats to the prisoner, his family and friends, hanging by the hands; no water or food up to four, seven and eight days; pretending to shoot them in the head; being handcuffed; torture of other persons close to the cell so that their screams could be heard; being held incommunicado; application of electrical energy and shocks to different parts of the body; exercises until exhausted; being kept nude and standing; provocation of suffocation; “being washed”, walking on the knees; psychological torture; ducking in a lake while tied; cigarette burns; taking prisoners during raids and using them as shields while being handcuffed and blindfolded; pretending to shoot at persons hanging from trees; placement of weapons in the mouth; braking of nerves as a consequence of hangings; being kept nude and ducked in a river; refusal of medial care for pregnancy; breaking of ribs; being tied, blindfolded, permanently at times, hit with a stick, being kicked; wounded in the back by a firearm, at the detention place; threats of bringing family members to torture them in their presence; witnessing torture of other persons; convincing them that other accused persons had pointed the finger at them as participants in the same events; beings pricked with needless  indifferent parts of the body; continuous interrogation and confessions forcing them to say that they had participated in an attack.


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[1]   Article 5 of the American Convention on Human Rights reads as follows:  “1.  Every person has the right to have his physical, mental, and moral integrity respected.  2.  No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degradation punishment or treatment.  All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.  3. Punishment shall not be extended to any person other than the criminal.  4.  Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons, and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons, and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons.  5.  Minors whole subject to criminal proceedings shall be separated from adults and brought before specialized tribunals, as speedily as possible, so that they may e treated in accordance with their status as minors.  6.  Punishments consisting of deprivation of liberty shall have as essential aims the reform and social readaptation of the prisoners.

[2]   Article 279.  Under the previous criminal code, before acts of torture could be punished, it was necessary that the acts be included as part of other crimes such as the abuse of authority or the crime of personal injury.

[3]   Article 41, 45 and 331 to 342.

[4]   Articles 193 and 202 to 211 of the Military Criminal Justice code.

[5]   Article 62 of the constitutional reform contained in legislative Act. No. 1 of 1979, reads as follows: “From January 1, 1981 on, the national Government shall invest no less than 10% of the general expenses budget in the judicial branch and in the Public Ministry.”

[6]   Articles 1,2,3,5,14,15,16,17 and 25.  Decree No. 1817 of 1964 has the following tittles: First title on provisions common to all detention establishments, sentences and security measures; second title on penitentiary personnel; third title on training, preparation of personnel, professional career and disciplinary system, fourth title on internal rules; fifth title on detained persons; sixth tittle on system for sentenced persons; seventh title on agricultural an d penal colonies; eight title on social assistance in jail; and ninth title on organization and regular personnel of the division of prisons and its dependent offices.  Jails in Colombia are under the supervision and control of the National Prisons Office, part of the Ministry of Justice.  On the basis of Decree 1917 of 1964, several decrees, resolutions and regulatory laws have been passed in this area.  Among them are decree No. 1522 of 1966, the organic statute of the national Penitentiary School; Resolution No. 0003 of January 3, 1967, on rules regarding escapes; Resolution No. 0010 of January 31, 1967, on special funds for expenses of education and provisions for the consumption of the confined population and establishment of purchasing boards; Law 40 of 1968 on reduction of sentence; Law 32 of 1971 on reduction of sentence for work and study; Resolution No. 0038 of July 10, 1972, on grants of special permits to prisoners; Resolution No. 245 of July 10, 1973, on administration of personnel and supervision of the General Prison Office;  Decree No. 25537 of December 11, 1973, on the operation of reorganization of the penitentiary career.

[7]   Note No. 0063 to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice from the Technical Assistant of the National Prisons Office, dated January 15, 1981.  The amounts included in the budget proposal for Colombia¢ s prison systems are in Colombian pesos, equivalent to approximately fifty pesos per dollar.

[8]   Charges’ relating to cases Nos. 7348 for the M-19 and 7375 involving the FARC.