Riot at Guayaquil Regional Prison in Ecuador leaves one dead and four injured

A deadly riot broke out at the Regional Prison of Guayaquil in Ecuador, leaving three prisoners dead and six others injured. The government has declared a state of emergency due to an “internal armed conflict” against organized crime gangs. The National Service of Comprehensive Attention to Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI) confirmed the number of deceased prisoners and injured individuals after the riot.

The disturbances within the prison began late at night, with explosions and fires caused by inmates burning mattresses. It took the police and armed forces around four hours to regain control of the prison, which is part of a larger complex housing around 12,000 prisoners. Inmates were reportedly protesting against their treatment during the militarization of Ecuadorian prisons under the state of emergency.

The government’s response to the riots and state of emergency declaration has sparked criticism from human rights organizations and relatives of the prisoners. Two prisoners have been identified as allegedly responsible for inciting the riot and have been placed under custody to be prosecuted for terrorism.

During the militarization of prisons, there have been reports of human rights violations by the Armed Forces. The Guayaquil Regional Prison has been a frequent target for operations to seize weapons and prohibited items from its population. There is a history of gang control and extortion among inmates, leading to unrest and violence.

The situation in Ecuador’s prison system remains tense as efforts are ongoing to address internal conflicts and improve conditions for inmates. There is a need for a comprehensive approach that prioritizes humane rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Relatives gathered outside the prison demanded information about their loved ones while also protesting against their mistreatment. They raised concerns about human rights abuses that have occurred since the state of emergency was declared. The government must take immediate action to address these issues if it wants to maintain public trust and uphold its commitment to protecting individual rights.

In conclusion, while we condemn any form of violence or mistreatment towards prisoners, we urge all parties involved in this situation to work together towards finding long-term solutions that prioritize rehabilitation rather than punishment. We believe that it is only through cooperation between governments, NGOs, civil society groups, and other stakeholders that we can hope for lasting peace and stability in our communities.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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