Ecuador to pardon up to 2,000 inmates after prison riot

TEHRAN, Oct. 02 (MNA) – As many as 2,000 prisoners will be pardoned in Ecuador, the head of the country’s prison authority has announced, as Ecuador seeks to reduce overcrowding in its detention centres after a deadly riot this week.

Bolivar Garzon, director of the SNAI prison authority, said on Friday that the government would prioritise elderly and female prisoners, as well as those with disabilities and terminal illnesses, for release, Al-Jazeera reported.

At least 118 inmates were killed and another 79 injured in the riot on Tuesday at the Penitenciaria del Litoral in the southern city of Guayaquil, the deadliest instance of prison violence in Ecuador’s history.

The country’s prisons are currently home to some 39,000 inmates, said Garzon.

He also said Tuesday’s riot was sparked by “a battle for control by organised crime groups”.

Seventy-nine prisoners died in February when simultaneous riots broke out in three prisons, while in July, 27 prisoners were killed at the Litoral facility. In September, a penitentiary was attacked by drones, but no fatalities were reported.

Ecuador has sent 3,600 police and military reinforcements to prisons across the country to maintain order, Interior Minister Alexandra Vela told reporters on Friday.


News Code 179283


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