Crime & Justice

Bachelet calls for Ecuador prison reforms after recent massacre

Geneva, May 10 (EFE).- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on Tuesday spoke of the need for an urgent reform in the prison system and the criminal justice system in Ecuador.

Bachelet’s comments came a day after the latest in a series of massacres in Ecuador’s prisons, reflecting a protracted prison crisis.

At least 44 prisoners were killed in Santo Domingo de los Tsachila prison, bringing the number of prisoners killed in clashes between rival gangs to over 400 in around two years.

While the number of deaths in prison violence only amounted to 46 in 2020, it shot up the following year to 316. In 2022, it appears to follow a similar trend with 64 deaths so far.

Bachelet, in a statement read out by her spokesperson at a press conference in Geneva, underlined that the state is presumed to be responsible for these deaths, which must be investigated transparently, especially since that the prisoners were under its custody.

In February, the Ecuadorian government launched a policy for the social rehabilitation of prisoners, developed with technical support from the UN Human Rights Office, the organization headed by Bachelet.

In this regard, the High commissioner called on the authorities to provide the necessary resources to implement this policy and to consider reducing the excessive use of imprisonment. EFE


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