Mulino looks at Colombian jails
PANAMA. The Minister of Government and Justice, José Raul Mulino, said that he is interested in using the Colombian penitentiary system...
PANAMA. The Minister of Government and Justice, José Raul Mulino, said that he is interested in using the Colombian penitentiary system in Panama and announced that he will visit one of the detention centers of that country tomorrow.
Mulino expressed his interest during an official visit to Bogotá while talking to his Colombian counterpart, Fabio Valencia, who explained to him the judicial and penitentiary system in that South American country.
The Panamanian minister was very interested in the accusatory penal system that Colombia uses and which Panama is planning to adopt in September.
Under the accusatory system a person cannot be arrested until the Public Ministry has sufficient proof to take the case to trial.
The Colombian deputy minister of Justice, Miguel Ceballos, said that he was going to organize visits to different prosecution offices to explain the penal system to Mulino.
Valencia told Mulino that currently the government has ordered the construction of eleven detention centers which it expects to solve the problem of overcrowding in jails, which is currently running at 35 percent.
The Colombian deputy minister also said that his country is working hard to respect the human rights of prisoners and give them training and work opportunities.
Currently, Colombia has more that 21,600 inmates who work from jail and, since 2008, Colombian prisons have been running around 700 income-generating projects.
The Panamanian delegation also had a meeting with Colombian Police director, General Oscar Naranjo.
The Panamanian and Colombian authorities said that they will unite efforts to fight money launderings, drug trafficking and organized crime. To this end, they exchanged information about Gilberto Torres Muleton, who is alleged to be creating havoc in Darien province.
The Panamanian authorities in the Darien border are concerned that FARC guerrillas keep coming to Panama to terrorize and rob peasants of the little money and food they have. There have also being incidents in which militia unit have kidnapped some of the locals.
Over the last 12 months, the Air and Naval Services have captured speed boats carrying large amounts of cocaine, which makes the authorities suspect that a possible laboratory is operating in the area.
There have also been some contract killings connected to Colombian cartels in the capital city, in what appears to be an escalation in violence.
President Ricardo Martinelli has said on several occasions that security is a priority for his government and that the problem of organized crime must be solved as soon as possible.