Ecuador: Ombudsman’s Office Concern About the Situation in Prisons

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On 30 May, the Ombudsman’s Office reported 24 deaths in prisons under military control and called on the government to take urgent action to guarantee and protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty.

On Tuesday, the representative of the Ombudsman’s Office in Ecuador, César Córdova, reiterated the institution’s concern about the situation inside the Andean country’s prisons.

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According to the official, the lack of food, as well as alleged physical and psychological mistreatment, are the most frequent complaints they have received in recent months, which they have also verified with visits to prisons.

In statements to the national channel Ecuavisa, Córdova explained that since May they have carried out 82 visits to prisons, and both prisoners and their families have reported alleged violations of their rights.

Córdova also warned about the lack of food in the penitentiaries and explained that in view of the suspension of this service due to lack of payment, new contracts are being analyzed, but that these do not respond to reality.

???? #ENVIVO | César Córdova, defensor del Pueblo, determina que el #Ecuador es responsable no solo de las 11 muertes violentas sino también de las 10 naturales en las cárceles del país.

Mira #ContactoDirecto ???? pic.twitter.com/few4y1pgGA

— Ecuavisa Noticias (@EcuavisaInforma) June 11, 2024

The text reads,
César Córdova, Ombudsman, determines that Ecuador is responsible not only for the 11 violent deaths but also for the 10 natural deaths in the country’s prisons.

“There is no adequate food. They receive one ration a day, when the international norm establishes three and even five for certain adult offenders”, he explained.

On 30 May, the Ombudsman’s Office reported 24 deaths in prisons under military control and called on the government to take urgent action to guarantee and protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty.

The institution identified an increase in the number of dead inmates in the internment centers, which are currently under the custody of the Armed Forces after the declaration last January of an internal armed conflict in the midst of a wave of criminal acts.

According to the information released, from 9 February to 7 March, 24 deaths were recorded in various centers due to natural causes and in other cases due to violence, with indications of presumed torture.

In addition, the Ombudsman’s Office warned of the death of a prisoner with signs of malnutrition, which could be a consequence of the lack of food supplies in the prisons of Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Sucumbíos and Napo.

Ecuador’s prisons are considered the epicenter of the country’s security crisis, which is why President Noboa decided to militarize them under a state of emergency and a declaration of internal armed conflict.

The executive dismissed allegations of rights violations and has closed ranks around the military forces in what the president called a war against organized crime.

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