The President of Ecuador, Gullermo lasso, granted clemency to prisoners with serious and terminal illnesses and prisoners for traffic violations as part of a plan to reduce the population in the country’s prisons.
“It is with concrete facts and actions that we attend to the prison system and guarantee rights. As part of the #PlanRescateEcuador (…) I signed presidential pardons to reduce overcrowding in detention centers,” the president wrote in Twitter.
Likewise, the Secretary General for Communication reported that persons deprived of liberty were pardoned. “Under some conditions” with the purpose of “establish effective actions for the recovery of peace and alleviate prison overcrowding”.
Although the number of people who will be released is not known, the pardon will be applied to prisoners sentenced for “traffic offenses that do not involve death or injury”.
In addition, inmates suffering from diseases that imply a high risk to life or terminals received the presidential pardon.
The pardons consist of the “forgiveness of custodial penalties”, but in no case do they extinguish the reparation measures issued by a judge and the fines.
The measure seeks to combat violence within prisons due to disputes between criminal gangs linked to drug trafficking.
The project includes a pacification process in prisons and the use of the Armed Forces and the Police to maintain order within the inmates.
In Ecuador there are 65 prisons with a capacity for 30,000 people, but they are occupied by almost 39,000, of which 15,000 are without sentence.
The prisons in the country have become scenes of massacres. In September, 119 inmates died in Guayas 1 prison, one of the worst prison massacres in Latin America.
In the same prison, a gang clash left 62 dead. Most of the victims were mutilated and cremated in an action that the Government described as “barbarism.”