30 Nov 2021, 10:38

Ecuador renews state of emergency over prison violence

 QUITO, Nov 30, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Ecuador's president on Monday renewed for
one month a state of emergency aimed at restoring calm in the country's
prisons, where riots have left more than 300 inmates dead this year.

   President Guillermo Lasso signed a decree that allows for mobilization of
police and armed forces to "re-inforce and re-establish order and control" in
Ecuador's overcrowded, violence-wracked jails.

   It adds another 30 days to a 60-day state of emergency declared on
September 29, after one of the worst outbreaks of prison violence ever
recorded in Latin America saw 119 inmates killed in the city of Guayaquil.

   This month, at the same prison, more than 60 people died in another riot
by prisoners armed with guns, machetes and explosives.

   Last week, Lasso granted a pardon to inmates with serious illnesses and
those jailed for traffic violations to alleviate prison overcrowding.

   Ecuador has 65 prison facilities with capacity for 30,000 people, but they
house almost 39,000 inmates, including 15,000 who have not been sentenced.


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