English

The Constitutional Court has consistently called for the protection of rights of people held in custody, but on this occasion, for the first time, the Court decided to order the Colombian Government to implement as soon as possible a mobile telephone network that is accessible in every prison and every detention center of this country, but in such a way as to avoid telephone calls used to commit crime inside the prisons.

The Court explained that in Colombia there is currently no mobile telephony that allows prisoners to communicate with their families, but in most cases they have to use cell phones which have been brought to prisons illegally.That´s why when deciding on an action for protection, the Court ordered the National Penitentiary and Prison Agency (Inpec) and the Ministry of Technology to adjust the current telephone system in not more than six months in order to allow incoming calls which are low-cost for the prisoners and with a control to avoid that these calls are used for the commission of offences.The Court stated that “the restrictions on the rights of prisoners to communicate with the outside world and in particular with their families limit the prisoner’s rights as a result of the high cost of the telephone service intended for them, due to the impossibility of receiving or making reverse charge calls.