Riots in Ecuadorian Prison: The Complex Intersection of Violence, Human Rights and Criminal Gangs.

Riot at Guayaquil Regional Prison in Ecuador Leaves One Dead and Four Injured

Three prisoners were killed and six others were injured during a riot at the Regional Prison of Guayaquil in Ecuador. 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 stated that five of the injured returned to prison after receiving medical attention, while one remains hospitalized.

The riots involved explosions and fires caused by inmates burning mattresses, leading to a four-hour effort by the Police and Armed Forces to regain control of the prison. The inmates were protesting the treatment by the military during the militarization of Ecuadorian prisons as part of the state of emergency against criminal gangs.

Family members gathered outside the prison demanding information and access to their loved ones. They expressed concerns about mistreatment of prisoners since the state of emergency was declared, highlighting instances of abuse and neglect. Despite President Daniel Noboa’s calls for sensitivity, family members demanded an end to reported abuse while acknowledging the need for intervention to combat extortion among prisoners.

Human rights organizations have accused the Armed Forces of violations during the state of emergency, though the military denies such claims. The Guayaquil Regional Prison has been a focal point for intervention efforts aimed at targeting illegal items and weapons within its population. The escape of a drug trafficker from the prison further underscores these challenges in maintaining control and security within its walls.

Efforts continue to address underlying issues leading to unrest and violence within prisons, with a focus on improving conditions and ensuring safety for both inmates and staff. The recent riot serves as a stark reminder that criminal activity within prisons poses significant challenges that require comprehensive solutions effectively address these issues.

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