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A proposal to release serial killer Luis Garavito, who has been dubbed as a "beast," early hasn’t been welcomed by the people of Colombia, with the country's President Iván Duque denunciating it Monday.

Garavito had confessed to taking lives of nearly 200 children, most of them were aged between 8 and 16, and had got more than 50 long sentences. But Colombia allows early release for good behavior after more than half the sentence is served, and limits jail sentences to 40 years, according to ABC News.

On Sunday, it was revealed in the TV show “Los Informantes” that the national prison institute had asked a judge in May to grant the serial killer provisional release because of his “exemplary” behavior behind bars. However, his request was denied by a judge as Garavito, now 64 years old, had not paid a fine (around $41,500) for his victims.

Duque said in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was attending the United Nations climate conference, that he has "profound indignation at the possibility that anyone would suggest that that beast" leave jail. He added that the national government did not support or sponsor it.

On Monday, the prison institute issued a statement saying it had acted “in conformance with legal postulates” by sending the documents to the judge.

In April 1999, the criminal was arrested on an attempted rape charge, but when a judge asked him if he had murdered 114 kids whose bodies were found in 59 towns in Colombia beginning in 1994, he confessed and begged to be forgiven for the crimes he committed. He then admitted to 26 more murders.

He said in an excerpt from the videotaped confession broadcast by the country's TV newscasts, "I ask you to pardon me for all I have done, and all I will confess. Yes, I killed them and many others."

Garavito kept his tally of the killings in a battered notebook which he showed to the judge and psychologist. The notebook had scratched 140 lines that were for all his victims. After Garavito was jailed, he confessed to about 50 other murders. The serial killer, who was the oldest of seven children, grew up beaten by his dad and repeatedly raped by two of his neighbors, he once told a judge.

At 16, Garavito left home and started working as a store clerk then went on to try his hand as a street vendor and sold prayer cards and religious icons. As for his crimes, he found his victims on the street. He gained their confidence with money and soft drinks, said prosecutors. The victims, some of whom were raped and tortured, eventually were found with their throats slit.

While in prison, he spoke to forensic scientist Dr Mark Benecke, who quizzed the criminal in July 2002 and again three years later to get into his head and find out what made him to commit the crimes again and again.

Dr Benecke told Mirror last year, "He is one of the most friendly and soft spoken persons I have ever met. He was very manipulative towards me in a friendly way." He called Garavito a "typical serial killer who acts out his fantasies". He added that he is a typical pedophile, who is mild-mannered, friendly and soft to children and others.

Colombian president Ivan Duque
Colombian president Ivan Duque speaks to the press before a meeting with members of the National Strike Committee at Casa de Nariño Government Palace on May 10, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia. President Ivan Duque and members of the National Strike Committee meet to find solutions to social unrest. Demonstrations continued even after Duque withdrew the tax reform bill. Claims are now focused on rising poverty, police abuse, unemployment and inequality which all became worse due to the coronavirus. Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images