Scandal in Colombia: Company managed by paramilitaries sold sausages with meat of missing prisoners

Photo courtesy of the former director of La Modelo prison.

The former director of La Modelo prison in Bogotá, William Gacharna Castro, revealed before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) how paramilitaries operated within the prison center he once directed.

By: L Pregonar

In a three-day hearing before the JEP, Gacharna’s statements, revealed by W Radio, were granted after the entity accepted his submission in December 2023, which he requested more than four years ago.

The former IMPEC official admitted that he supported paramilitary forces and also confessed to other facts, including his conviction regarding the presence of human remains underground on the prison floor.

A large collection of crimes were recorded in La Modelo prison between approximately 1999 and 2003. There were incidents of killings, massacres, kidnappings, extortion, weapons penetration and enforced disappearances.

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

“I am much more confident. Our control was minimal. They had many areas to operate in, La Modelo’s land area being quite extensive. It was impossible for us, the Guardians, to capture all the tunnels they built, the former official said, according to W Radio.

According to what Gacharna said, the bodies were missing due to tunnels and sinkholes that had collapsed or were used specifically by prisoners, especially paramilitaries, to make people disappear.

According to the station’s report, Gacharana received all the information, but although he knew, he never investigated the torture systems that the paramilitary was installing, primarily in the Modelo prison in Bogotá.

He also described the manner in which they disposed of the bodies of those killed. “There was talk that people were made to disappear in hydrochloric acid, that people were cooked in field kettles, large steaming pots that are used to prepare food, until they fall apart ,” said the former director. Before JEP.

“There was a micro-business promoted by paramilitaries that produced sausages, sausages and hamburger meat, which they said was made from human flesh,” former officer Gacharna brutally told JEP.

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