An inmate at Bellavista prison in Medellin is asking for euthanasia because he suffers from an illness and believes that the lack of health care in prison is preventing him from having a quality life. The petition is supported by his relatives.
This is Sebastián López, 23 years old, who was recently imprisoned in the Bellavista Prison in Medellin, but because of the serious injuries all over his body, the tuberculosis that was consuming him and other ailments, they had to admit him to the emergency room at La María Hospital in the capital of Antioch.
Hernando López, Sebastian’s father, told SEMANA that the prison system did not allow the prison process to be expedited, there were no supplies for care, and therefore it was difficult for the young man to recover, practically swallowing him with the weight of the wounds that they haven’t healed yet.
“They kept him in a cell by himself, as if they wanted to tell him to go in there and die. There is no public organization that wants to pay attention to my son’s case. The prison health system was unable to cope with the condition in which it was found. There are not enough inputs for the required attention. He has major injuries on his back and other parts of his body, he is in a wheelchair, he cannot change his clothes by himself”, said the father of the young man.
Through a video on social media, Sebastian explained the difficult situation he was in and the reasons why he wanted to be euthanized.
“I’m in a wheelchair, suffering during the colostomy. Here in the prison, I am not allowed to enter the toilet facilities. Please help me. No matter what crimes we have committed, here in this prison, overcrowding is consuming us,” Lopez said.
His father also said that the family would rather see him die with dignity than see him live in suffering at the detention center, especially since he was not even given medical attention.
“He is in a very precarious situation. There was no way that getting out of the hospital was not possible. Our desperation is inhuman,” Lopez added.
In this regard, Jorge Carmona, defender of the human rights of prisoners in Antioquia, assured that they are investigating the case to help the young man. As they explained, the family’s request was not possible because this illness was not considered terminal and made it difficult to fulfill the request.
According to Carmona, there are two main problems in the country’s prisons. First, the food, which caused serious riots and protests because of the terrible conditions in which the prisoners were delivered. Second, health care where prisoners are barred from attention orders or in many cases never receive them.
Sebastian’s situation is added to the thousands of people deprived of their freedom who suffer the ordeal of diseases, some more serious than others, but with one thing in common: the lack of care for this group lives in most prisons in the country in overcrowded and unsafe conditions from these spaces.
During Personería de Medellín’s recent visits to the city’s prisons, in particular El Pedregal, the organization was able to demonstrate the reality of overcrowding that exists within the site in terms of the structure of men.
In one of the courtyards, the real capacity of the shelter is 360 people. However, they found an overpopulation of 140%. They also received reports of structural damage and insufficient medical staff.
It should be remembered that on August 24, 2022, a 21-year-old man died in a hospital in Valle de Aburrá after being referred by a National Police Station in the municipality of Itagüí. Although advocates for the Antioquia prison population have questioned the treatment of the inmate, the institution has defended the procedure.
According to authorities, Sebastian was caught trying to steal a cell phone and sentenced to 50 months in prison. But the trial of his health began a year ago when he was captured and tried to escape, where he was shot three times by the police.