Penitentiary crisis in Ecuador: leaders of armies and prisons resign

New clashes between gangs rivals in vast carceral complex of Guayaquil, Friday and Saturday, made 68 dead and 25 wounded.

Le Monde with AFP

The chiefs of the armed forces and the prisons of the Ecuador resigned, announced Monday, November 15 the government, after a new blood bath in a penitentiary and while the country is confronted with a soaring of crime related to narcotrafic .

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has “accepted the resignation of the head of the Joint Command, Vice-Admiral Jorge Cabrera, and the Director of the Prison Agency, Bolivar Garzon, said the presidency in a statement. New appointments were announced in the wake and Mr. Lasso brought Monday a crisis firm in Guayaquil (Southwest), the second largest city in the country.

The vast prison complex of Guayaquil was the theater Friday and Saturday new clashes between gangs rivals of detainees who made 68 dead and 25 wounded. With white shots, firearms and explosives, prisoners have attacked, after having sabotaged electricity, the occupants of another prison unit, which houses 8,500 detainees with overpopulation of 60 %.

The authorities denounced the “savagery” and the “barbarism” of the attackers, who, on videos broadcast on social networks, were seen overriding, with knives and sticks, on bodies crammed and carbonized in a courtyard.

A “Struggle for Leadership”, after the release of prison last week of a gang leader, would at the origin of these new violence, according to the police.

“Exterior threat “

Ecuador “is seriously threatened from the outside by the mafias of Narcotrafic, these same mafias who claim to take control of all the prisons of the country and impose insecurity in the streets,” said the evening the President Lasso. Promising “joint actions” of the State, the Chairman found that the country was facing “one of the greatest crises of recent decades”.

In the afternoon, the spokesperson for the Presidency, Carlos Jijon also implied the existence of a political conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the Government of President Conservative in the “Pandora Papers” for alleged offense of tax evasion. “The real objective [of the massacre] was to commit an act of terrorism that shock the nation,” said Jijon, believing that it was not only “a confrontation between bands of prisoners or gangs” but “a Extremely serious situation that has political ramifications “.

Divided into twelve neighborhoods, where members of at least seven criminal organizations are separately detained with links in particular with the Mexican cartels of Sinaloa and Jalisco Nueva Generacion, the prison complex of Guayaquil had already been theater. At the end of September, the largest massacre of the Ecuador’s prison story and one of the worst in Latin America. During rivales between rival bands, 119 people had been killed, some detainees had been dismembered, decapitated, or burned. Since the beginning of the year 320 detainees have died in different episodes of violence.

The 65 Ecuadorian prisons suffer from an overpopulation of 30%. Weapons of all kinds, drugs and cell phones circulate in large numbers.

Located between Colombia and Peru, the world’s leading cocaine producers, and used as a transit zone for shipping to the United States and Europe, Ecuador faces an increase in crime related to drug trafficking.

The President had decreed on 18 October a “state of exception” throughout the country to combat this crime that cost the lives of nearly 1,900 people since January. Another “state of exception” has been decreed in prisons, with military reinforcements. The Constitutional Court, however, limited its duration and prohibits that the military enter the prisons.

/Media reports.