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100 Bodies in Prison Sewer Pipes Discovered in Bogata, Colombia

Image: 100 Bodies in Prison Sewer Pipes Discovered in Bogata, Colombia

La Modelo prison in Colombia. (GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 Feb 2016 10:02 AM

At least 100 bodies were found in drain pipes of a prison in Bogota during an investigation of correction facilities in Colombia.

Dismembered remains of prisoners and visitors were discovered in the pipes at the La Modelo prison, which houses drug traffickers, Marxist rebels and paramilitary members in what the British Mirror called a "seething cauldron of violence."

Investigators also found body parts at prisons in other cities, including Popayan, Bucaramanga, and Barranquilla.

"The number of victims is unknown, but we know it's over 100 and could be considerably higher," said Caterina Heyck, an investigator for the Colombian attorney general's office. "Remains of prisoners, visitors and others were thrown in the drainage system."

The bodies were found as part of an investigation into Mario Jaimes Mejía, known as "El Panadero" (The Baker), and Alejandro Cardenas Orozco, aka "JJ," reported CNN. The two former paramilitary leaders face torture, kidnapping, and rape charges in connection with violence against journalist Jineth Bedoya.

Bedoya was kidnapped and raped in May 2000 while investigating claims of disappearances, killings, weapons trafficking, and corruption at the prison.

"I'm grateful for the actions being taken today, but it should've happen years ago," Bedoya said. "El Panadero's testimony taken more than 15 years ago, his version of the story, which is completely false, was endorsed by a prosecutor (with the Colombian attorney general's office) and that allowed for the process to stall and the case to remain in impunity."

The Foundation for Press Freedom issued a petition to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights in 2011 in connection with Bedoya's case.

"Fifteen years later, not a single perpetrator has been convicted for these acts, and Jineth's case has become synonymous with the impunity that plagues Colombia's justice system," the International Freedom of Expression Exchange said on its website. "Although several perpetrators have been identified and apprehended, no convictions have been made, and the judiciary has mishandled the case on several occasions."

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At least 100 bodies were found in drain pipes of a prison in Bogota during an investigation of correction facilities in Colombia.
bodies, prison, sewer, bogata, colombia
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2016-02-19
Friday, 19 Feb 2016 10:02 AM
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