Ecuador: mass deaths in prisons violence must be fully investigated
79 inmates reportedly died in violence in various prisons yesterday
‘The authorities must be held accountable for what happened in the prisons’ - Erika Guevara-Rosas
In response to reports from the Ecuadorean authorities that at least 79 people deprived of their liberty lost their lives in acts of violence several prisons yesterday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:
“The authorities must be held accountable for what happened in the prisons and the Attorney General’s Office must investigate the facts thoroughly and independently.
“The Ecuadorian authorities cannot evade their responsibility by only attributing the events to disputes between criminal organisations, which only obscures the grave situation in penitentiaries.”
According to Edmundo Moncayo, director of the government’s SNAI prisons management body, around 800 police officers intervened in response to violence in the prisons.
There has been a long absence of public policies to address the structural problems in Ecuador’s prisons, including overcrowding, neglect and a lack of respect and guarantees of the prison population’s human rights.