Ecuador: At Least 15 Killed In Latest Prison Riot

Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via New York Post]

The Facts

  • At least 15 prisoners were killed and 20 injured at Ecuador’s Cotopaxi No 1 prison in the province’s capital Latacunga – 50 miles south of the nation’s capital Quito – following clashes between inmates on Monday.

  • All security protocols were reportedly activated, and Ecuador’s national police units quickly regained control. Members of the health ministry were deployed to treat the injured, and members of the armed forces were also reportedly on the scene.

The Spin

Narrative A

Ecuador's Constitutional Court has repeatedly undermined Pres. Guillermo Lasso's ability to curb prisoner violence: From barring the military from operating in prisons to the early release of certain prisoners and court rulings preventing guards from carrying weapons, the country's so-called judiciary system has played a direct role in this violence.

Narrative B

While gangs play a real role in prison violence in Ecuador, so too does state violence, corruption, overcrowding and lack of basic services including wastewater treatment, medical attention and legal advice. Without reforms to deal with these structural causes of prison violence, penitentiaries will continue operating as schools of criminality that offer neither rehabilitation nor reintegration to its inmates.

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