After gang-related riots killed more than 300 people this year, Ecuador is seeking to ease overcrowding in prisons.
The President of Ecuador pardoned some prisoners to ease overcrowding in the country’s prisons A series of riots More than 300 people died this year.
In a statement late on Monday, Guillermo Russo’s press office stated that the president had pardoned prisoners who participated in traffic violations that did not cause harm or death, as well as other prisoners with serious or terminal illnesses. .
It did not specify how many people would receive pardons.
The statement said: “This decision includes full forgiveness of the sentence of imprisonment, but it does not exempt all people who have been pardoned from the obligation of full compensation (to the victim).”
Ecuador witnessed the deadliest prison riot on record in September, when 119 people — all prisoners — were Be killed At the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison in the coastal city of Guayaquil, the authorities said it was a clash between rival gangs related to drug trafficking.
At the beginning of this month, Another riot It happened in the same prison and caused the deaths of dozens of prisoners.
Experts have tip Overcrowding in prisons across the country, lack of rehabilitation programs for prisoners, lack of well-trained staff, and insufficient infrastructure in facilities are some of the key issues that lead to violence.
The prison is plagued by overcrowding of 30% and poor living conditions of the system’s 39,000 prisoners.
Director of the Prison Service Said At the beginning of October, Ecuador planned to pardon up to 2,000 prisoners to ease system pressure and prioritize the release of elderly and female prisoners, as well as disabled and terminally ill prisoners.
After reaching an agreement with the Colombian government over the weekend, Ecuador is also preparing to return 170 Colombian prisoners to their country.
The Russo government also promised to use armed forces and police to maintain order in the prison.
But critics question whether increased militarization can solve the problem.
“Entering with violence is not the solution. You cannot focus on militarization and repression, you must focus on rehabilitation, otherwise it will not work,” said a member of the Ischlda Democratic (Democratic Left) Party. Miro Narvaz told Al Jazeera this month.