Ecuador's Lasso declares state of emergency across prison system Ecuador's Lasso declares state of emergency across prison system 

Ecuador: State of emergency imposed on crisis-ridden penal system

Prison riots in Ecuador have left 31 dead highlighting a catastrophic breakdown in the country's prison system, which is now observing a sixty-day State of Emergency.

By James Blears

More than thirty people have died during rioting in the Guayas 1 Prison, in the port City of Guayaquil and the death toll is expected to rise.

It`s taken two thousand seven hundred heavily armed troops to go in there and restore law and order from chaos and mayhem, in the complex, which currently holds five thousand six hundred inmates. 

Spread of violence

The violence actually spread to other prisons. One hundred and twenty prison officers taken hostage in six other prisons have now been freed, shaken but unharmed. Ecuador`s President Guillermo Lasso is vowing to regain the peace, which he says has been removed by organized crime.

The Guayas 1 prison is no stranger to violence, riots and unrest. As recently as 2021, feuding gangs attacked each other and one hundred and nineteen of them died, with dozens more wounded.

The current situation is so critical, that Ecuador`s Government confirms that military intervention coupled with and reinforced by a declared State of Emergency, will continue until full control in the nation`s prison system is achieved. 

Listen to the report by James Blears

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27 July 2023, 11:49