UN anti-torture bodies express alarm at ongoing massive violence in the prison system in Ecuador

The Committee against Torture (CAT) and the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT), expressed their alarm at the violence that exists in Ecuador’s prison system. In the same way, they urged the government authorities to take the necessary measures to prevent deadly confrontations from recurring and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

Several security experts and United Nations agencies were dismayed by the continued massive violence in Ecuador’s prisons, with hundreds of deaths recorded in recent months, some of which were caused by extreme brutality.

The agencies stressed that, so far in 2021, approximately 300 people have died in the country’s prisons and, in the last two riots alone, 200 people were killed.

Given this, Claude Heller, president of CAT, recalled that Ecuador and its authorities have an obligation to guarantee the security of the prison system.

«Ecuador has the obligation to guarantee security within its prisons by providing adequate training to a sufficient number of prison officials and developing strategies to reduce violence among inmates.»

For her part, Suzanne Jabbour, President of the SPT, questioned the work of the Ecuadorian authorities to address this crisis and asked the State to adopt the necessary mechanisms to avoid prison overcrowding and new confrontations.

“The recent fatal events demonstrate the failure of the Ecuadorian authorities to establish an effective system for the prevention of torture in the country. In addition to addressing the problem of overcrowding and putting an end to the self-administration of places of detention by detainees, the State must provide its national prevention mechanism with sufficient resources to function properly ”.

The Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture plans to visit the country in the coming months to support the work of Ecuador’s national preventive mechanism and provide recommendations to the authorities. The last visit of this body was in 2014.

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