UPJ: ¿Centros de vulneración de los derechos humanos?

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Aspecto de un centro de reclusión de la Unidad Permanente de Justicia en Bogotá. Foto internet.

Kevin Siza Iglesias
@KevinSizaI 

Todos los Estados, en cumplimiento de los fines que establecen sus propios ordenamientos constitucionales, tienen la obligación de garantizar a sus ciudadanos la seguridad y la convivencia, para que éstos cuenten con una vida en sociedad donde se preserve y defienda este derecho fundamental, base sobre la cual se desarrollan los otros derechos.

La política criminal, que puede entenderse como las acciones e instituciones estatales encaminadas a darle tratamiento y soluciones a las conductas de los ciudadanos, es concebida por la Corte Constitucional en su sentencia C – 646 de 2001 como “El conjunto de respuestas que un Estado estima necesario adoptar para hacerle frente a conductas consideradas reprochables o causantes de prejuicio social con el fin de garantizar la protección de los intereses esenciales del Estado y de los derechos de los residentes en el territorio bajo su jurisdicción”1. En el derecho penal, éstas se encuadran en dos grandes campos: los delitos y las contravenciones, cada una de las cuales tiene sus propias implicaciones.

Las dos, a pesar de contar con los mismos elementos constitutivos para su configuración (tipicidad, antijuridicidad y culpabilidad), se empiezan a distanciar como producto de la decisión del legislador de tipificar a unas como delitos y otras sólo como faltas. En este sentido, es preciso decir que, aunque coinciden en ser conductas transgresoras, tienen su punto de inflexión en lo grave que pueda llegar a ser la misma y el grado de afectación al orden social. Los Estados modernos, asumen de diversas formas el tratamiento de las conductas de sus ciudadanos, cuando éstos transgreden el ordenamiento jurídico en cualquier nivel, ante lo cual, se imponen sanciones diferenciadas que persiguen el objetivo de evitar la reproducción y reincidencia de las conductas transgresoras.

Para el tratamiento de los delitos y las contravenciones, el Estado cuenta con normas y procedimientos diferenciados, así como con instituciones que atiendan cada uno de los casos. En este sentido, es importante mencionar que el Código Nacional de Policía, recientemente reformado, cuenta con un catálogo de conductas contravencionales y las caracteriza como “comportamientos contrarios a la convivencia”, ante las cuales concede a la Policía Nacional la competencia para tomar medidas correctivas, siempre y cuando éstas no constituyan una conducta tipificada como delito en el Código Penal (toda vez que su tratamiento correspondería a las autoridades judiciales). Cabe resaltar, que la Ley 1801 de 2016, muy criticada en diversos ámbitos, reforzó la posición de la Policía Nacional al establecer un mayor rango de discrecionalidad para asumir las medidas correctivas que logren “superar” dichas conductas. En este sentido, es importante entender que aquella “consiste en un poder de apreciación que tienen los órganos y personas a quienes se les ha asignado esta facultad, para decidir, según criterios de oportunidad y conveniencia, cómo prevenir perturbaciones en el orden público”2 lo que da paso a que la autoridad abuse de su poder.

Los jóvenes están en el centro del debate. Ellos, son quienes de forma mayoritaria se erigen en objeto de los abusos de autoridad de la Policía Nacional, amparados en la legalidad que reifica su posición dominante frente a la ciudadanía. Los graffiteros, los músicos que se ganan la vida en la calle, malabaristas, skaters, raperos, consumidores de canabbis recreativo, etc. Han sido las víctimas constantes de la actuación de los uniformados. Una investigación dirigida por Sebastián Lalinde, de Dejusticia, plantea la inexistencia de criterios claros que guíen la acción de policía, lo que posibilita que ésta se concentre en ciertos grupos poblacionales considerados “peligrosos”, lo que da cuenta del por qué los jóvenes pobres, de estratos 1 y 2 de las principales ciudades del país (Bogotá, Medellín, Cali y Barranquilla), son uno de los sectores más afectados por esta situación.

La Policía Nacional, cuenta con una herramienta que durante mucho tiempo fue conocida como retención transitoria, que fue declarada inconstitucional por la Sentencia C-720 de 20073 de la Corte, por considerarla violatoria de los principios de estricta legalidad y de la garantía del debido proceso para el ciudadano, pues la restricción de la libertad sólo puede ser consecuencia de la decisión de una autoridad judicial competente, pese a lo cual, aún hoy, se aplica bajo otras formas pero con su misma esencia: el traslado por protección, establecido en la reciente reforma al Código Nacional de dicha entidad.

Dicha figura, defendida como un elemento altruista para que las autoridades policiales pudieran conducir a ciudadanos a los CAI o UPJ para salvaguardar su vida o la de terceros, se convirtió en el caballo de batalla para justificar retenciones ilegales y toda clase de vulneración a las garantías constitucionales. Las UPJ (Unidad Permanente de Justicia) existentes en las capitales de las cuatro principales ciudades del país, son el escenario en el cual de forma diaria se configura un nuevo tipo de centro de retenciones para los jóvenes.

Traslados por estados de excitación inexistentes, uso desproporcionado de fuerza, irregularidad absoluta en el procedimiento, agresiones físicas, deficientes condiciones de salubridad (imposibilidad de ir a los baños), no proporcionar agua ni comida durante el tiempo de retención (que oscila entre 12 y 15 horas), hacen del panorama en estas entidades algo sombrío.

Es necesario que a nivel nacional, fundamentalmente en las ciudades donde existen las UPJ, se desarrolle un fuerte debate que vincule al conjunto de la ciudadanía y de forma especial a los jóvenes, que tenga la capacidad de incidir de forma efectiva en la institucionalidad que desarrolla estos mecanismos establecidos en la ley, que vulneran los derechos de una franja importante de colombianos. Construir y movilizar al movimiento juvenil entorno a una propuesta que defienda intransigentemente los derechos humanos es una tarea urgente.

1 http://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/relatoria/2001/C-646-01.htm

2  Requisas ¿A discreción? Sebastián Lalinde. Dejusticia. Bogotá, 2015.

3 http://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/relatoria/2007/C-720-07.htm

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