Prison authorities have transferred 3.500 people deprived of liberty to lower rates of violence

Photo: SNAI
Photo: SNAI

Until November 10, the state of exception of the prison system was extended.

In two months, the prison authorities have relocated 3.500 prisoners to other prisons in the country. The objective is to separate members of criminal gangs that operate inside prisons and relocate them to others to avoid fights or confrontations.

Colonel Orlando Jácome, technical deputy director of Rehabilitation, gave details yesterday of the operations carried out in early September in Guayaquil.

He commented that 930 prisoners were moved from the Litoral Penitentiary who were identified with the ‘Los Lagartos’ gang. They were displaced to the former Provisional Detention Center (CDP), which is next to the Penitentiary. Meanwhile, another 2.000 detainees, who were where the CDP operated, were taken to the Litoral Penitentiary.

According to Penitentiary Intelligence, they are part of the criminal gangs that are in constant dispute with ‘Los Lagartos’ for control of the prisons. Although it was clarified that there are prisoners who do not belong to either of the two gangs, but that despite that they are considered violent.

Jácome stated that many consider themselves autonomous, but they cannot be close to either ‘Los Lagartos’ or ‘Los Choneros’. In this group are 437 prisoners who were transferred, through a police operation, from the Penitentiary to the Regional Prison.

In this group, there are prisoners of liberty who serve sentences ranging from 7 to 40 years in prison.

With the state of exception of the prison system that has been in force since last August 11 and that was extended until next November 10, 2.500 weapons have been withdrawn.

Part of that arsenal was used last August 3 during a fight between ‘Los Lagartos’ and ‘Los Choneros’ that left 11 dead and wounded in the Penitentiary.

Eight days later another brawl broke out in the Cotopaxi prison, where two prisoners were killed. Given these events, the Executive signed the state of exception to lower the rates of violence within detention centers.

But the transfers did not only take place in Guayaquil, on August 19, a group of prisoners from the Sucumbíos prison was taken to the Penitentiary. They were classified as «difficult to adapt inmates.»

At the same time, other inmates who escaped from the Tulcán and Machala rehabilitation centers, and who were recaptured, were also relocated.

In order to continue with the transfers, the prison authorities have launched the reopening of the ‘La Roca’ prison in Guayas. The USD250.000 jobs started two weeks ago. This center has a capacity for 152 detainees.

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