On Monday, President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador signed a decree announcing that dozens of prisoners with minor offenses and those with terminal diseases would be pardoned to reduce overcrowding in prisons across the country.
A portion of the statement published on Aljazeera.com read, “This decision includes the total forgiveness of custodial sentences but does not extinguish the obligation of comprehensive reparations (to victims) that all those receiving pardons are responsible for”
Close to 400 inmates have been killed in the country since the beginning of this year due to prison riots which have been blamed mainly on fighting amongst rival gangs.
The most recent deadly prison riot was in Penitenciaria del Litoral, located in the coastal city of Guayaquil, where close to 119 prisoners were killed and hundreds badly injured.
According to a source at the presidency, 170 Colombian prisoners who have been in Ecuador would be sent back to their country to decongest prisons following an arrangement that was arrived at by both governments on Monday.
The government has also promised to rehabilitate prisons and make things better for prisoners to prevent rival gangs from fighting against each other.
In 2019, President Guillermo Instituted a state of emergency across prisons which is still being respected today, granting powers to the military to surround prisons.