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News > Ecuador

Ecuador to Build Bukele-Style High Security Prisons

  • Image of a prison in El Salvador, 2023.

    Image of a prison in El Salvador, 2023. | Photo: X/ @elpais_inter

Published 4 January 2024

Since 2021, Ecuadorian prisons have become the scene of bloody massacres among inmates.

On Thursday, the Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa confirmed that his administration will build prisons similar to those existing in Mexico and El Salvador. 


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"The prisons will be ready in about 11 months. They will have the same design as the Mexican and Salvadoran prisons because they will be built by the same company," he said.

They will be similar to those built by the Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, Noboa reaffirmed and invited Ecuadorian 'Bukele Fans' to visit them. 

"If you want to go, take a walk, get to know them, and spend a night there, you can go. Just commit a crime," he joked amidst laughter from the interviewers.

"We must have the best companies building the best prisons here," he added and explained that the high-security prisons will be built in the Pastaza province in the Amazon region and in the Santa Elena province on the coast.

"These sites were chosen because they have the least influence from narcoterrorist groups. Some of them want to self-identify as 'urban groups' as if they were reggaeton singers, but they are narcoterrorist groups," Noboa pointed out and indicated that the new prisons will contain appropriate mechanisms to segment and isolate individuals.

The prisons will be located between 20 and 30 minutes away by vehicle from the population because supply problems would arise if they were located in very remote areas, he confirmed, indicating that the construction of the first prison will begin in a few days.

During the administration of Guillermo Lasso (2021-2023), Ecuadorian prisons became the scene of bloody massacres among inmates fighting for control of the facilities.

These disputes, however, are an extension of the struggles that transnational criminal groups develop for control of territories within this South American country.


Daniel Noboa
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