Ecuador imprisonment ‘almost a death sentence’: Amnesty | Prison News

Rights group calls on authorities to handle structural issues as jail riot left not less than 44 inmates lifeless this week.

Imprisonment is sort of “a demise sentence” in Ecuador, Amnesty Worldwide has warned, a day after the newest jail riot within the South American nation left dozens of inmates lifeless.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the human rights group’s Americas director Erika Guevara Rosas mentioned “repeated errors” by the Ecuadorian authorities have led to the deaths of lots of of individuals within the nation’s prisons.

“Being disadvantaged of your liberty in Ecuador has virtually grow to be a demise sentence,” she mentioned.

“The authorities should handle, as soon as and for all, the structural causes of this drawback, equivalent to overcrowding, corruption and impunity, by a complete jail coverage targeted on human rights. All deaths and human rights violations of individuals disadvantaged of their liberty have to be totally, independently and impartially investigated.”

A minimum of 44 inmates died on Monday, the nation’s public prosecutor mentioned, as one other 100 prisoners managed to flee after a riot broke out on the Bellavista jail in Santo Domingo de los Colorados, about 80km (50 miles) from the capital Quito.

Family members look as a bus passes carrying prisoners
Relations look on as a bus passes with inmates that had escaped and have been recaptured by Ecuadorian authorities, Could 9, 2022 [Johanna Alarcon/Reuters]

Authorities mentioned a struggle broke out between the rival Los Lobos and R7 gangs inside the ability and that dozens of inmates tried to flee in the course of the mayhem. Police chief Fausto Salinas informed reporters that 108 have been lacking after one other 112 escaped prisoners have been recaptured.

“Nearly all of victims, if not virtually one hundred pc, have been killed with knives and never weapons,” Inside Minister Patricio Carrillo mentioned. “Their mutilated our bodies have been left the place they have been.”

The prisoners have been killed of their cells and customary rooms, after which inmates then used weapons to attempt to escape the ability.

“That is the unlucky results of gang violence,” President Guillermo Lasso, who’s on a state go to to Israel, wrote on Twitter, expressing his condolences to the family members of the victims.

It was the newest bout of violence in latest months in Ecuadorian prisons, that are at about 15 p.c over their capability. The 1,200-capacity Bellavista jail homes 1,700 inmates.

Amnesty Worldwide mentioned the violence has killed not less than 390 folks since December 2020.

Authorities have blamed the lethal confrontations on rival drug gangs, infiltrated or managed by Mexican cartels, that they mentioned are engaged in a battle for management of drug routes.

Positioned between Colombia and Peru, the world’s main cocaine producers, Ecuador is a key transit level for drug shipments to america and Europe.

Final 12 months, Ecuadorian authorities seized a document 210 tonnes of medicine, principally cocaine.

Within the aftermath of Monday’s riot, six gang leaders have been transferred from Bellavista to 2 maximum-security prisons, the inside ministry mentioned.

However Amnesty’s Guevara Rosas cautioned that “such superficial measures are inadequate to meet the principle obligation of the authorities on this context: to guard the life and integrity of 1000’s of prisoners who’re presently in danger.”

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