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Security & Strategic Review - September 2021

ECUADOR: Strategy to counter rocketing prison violence

In the wake of yet another deadly prison riot in Ecuador, on 18 August the country’s prisons authority (SNAI) announced a major initiative to reduce overcrowding and improve conditions in penitentiaries. The government has pledged US$75m over the next four years to address what SNAI director Fausto Cobo described as the “precarious, chaotic, dangerous and anarchic” state of the prison system. There is little doubt that the investment is needed – in the latest prison riot on 12 August, six inmates were killed at the Quevedo prison in Los Ríos province. This followed the massacre of 27 prisoners in simultaneous riots at two penitentiaries in late July, bringing the total number of violent deaths in Ecuador’s prisons this year to 130.

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