The mayor of the Colombian city of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, announced the construction of a new prison that will be considered the most secure in Colombia. The prison, which will be built on a 300,000-square-meter site in the San Cristóbal district, will have the capacity to house 1,400 inmates. According to Quintero, the Metropolitan Prison will have six surveillance towers and state-of-the-art technology based on artificial intelligence, which will make it possible to “see the permanent movements […] of all prisoners, all the time.” Quintero also affirmed that the prison will be the most important model of security for unionized prisoners in the country.
Construction of the prison, which is expected to begin in 2024, will cost a total of 675 billion pesos, or nearly $140 million. The construction of the prison is due to a court ruling that requires the city hall to build a prison to remedy the overcrowding and subhuman conditions that exist in the police stations.
During the announcement, Quintero took the opportunity to compare his project with the public security policies of the government of El Salvador, where Nayib Bukele, the Salvadoran president, recently inaugurated a mega-prison that received harsh criticism inside and outside the country. Quintero claimed that his prison will be the safest in the country and will provide dignity to inmates, in addition to solving the problem of a lack of capacity in Medellín’s city jails.
In short, the city of Medellín will have a high-tech prison that will be considered the safest in Colombia and will have artificial intelligence technology to monitor the movements of prisoners. The construction of the prison is a response to a court ruling that requires the construction of a prison to remedy the overcrowding and subhuman conditions that exist in police stations.
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