Ecuador: Authorities must be held accountable for 79 deaths in prisons

In response to reports from the National Service for the Comprehensive Care of Adults Deprived of their Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI) that at least 79 people deprived of their liberty lost their lives in acts of violence at the Guayas No. 4 (31 deaths), Guayas No. 1 (6 deaths), Cotopaxi No. 1 (8 deaths) and Azuay No. 1 (34 deaths) prisons yesterday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“The violence recorded yesterday, whose causes and actors must be legally determined, occurred in the context of an absence of public policies to address the structural problems in Ecuador’s prisons, including overcrowding, neglect and the lack of respect and guarantees of the prison population’s human rights.”

According to the director of SNAI, Edmundo Moncayo, around 800 police officers intervened in response to the violence in the prisons.

The violence recorded yesterday, whose causes and actors must be legally determined, occurred in the context of an absence of public policies to address the structural problems in Ecuador’s prisons, including overcrowding, neglect and the lack of respect and guarantees of the prison population’s human rights

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“The Ecuadorian authorities cannot evade their responsibility by solely attributing the events to disputes between criminal organizations, which only obscures the grave situation in penitentiaries,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas. “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, with due diligence, to determine any individual criminal responsibilities, as well as civil responsibilities, if appropriate.”

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