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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Ombudsman's Office Blames Govt. for Prison Riots

  • Inmates on the roof of El Turi jail in Cuenca, Ecuador, Feb. 24, 2021.

    Inmates on the roof of El Turi jail in Cuenca, Ecuador, Feb. 24, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @chapoisat

Published 24 February 2021 (14 hours 28 minutes ago)
Opinion

The prison riots were prompted by a battle for control of the jails after a gang leader was killed in December.

Ecuador's Ombudsman Freddy Carrion Wednesday blamed President Lenin Moreno's administration for the prison riots that left at least 79 inmates dead.

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"The lack of design, implementation, and evaluation of security policies provoked these unprecedented incidents," Carrion said, after offering his condolences to the victims' families. 

"The State is not guaranteeing the rights to life, personal integrity, and security of inmates," the Ombudsman added as he urged a prompt and impartial investigation to sanction those who are responsible.

The official also called to increase security and vigilance in social rehabilitation centers and prevent the actions of criminal organizations.

Following the riots, the United Nations (UN), the Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation (Inredh), and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed their concern about the prison crisis.

"The incident occurred amid an absence of policies to address the prisons' structural problems in Ecuador," the international organizations highlighted.

The National Service of Integral Attention to Prisoners (SNAI) reported the riots were prompted by a battle for control of the jails after a gang leader was killed in December.

The deadliest incident happened in Turi prison, in Cuenca city, where 34 inmates were killed. The other fatalities were recorded in three prisons of Guayaquil and Latacunga cities.

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