Ecuador: Army and prison chiefs replaced after bloodbath | Skai.gr

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The leaders of the armed forces and the prison service of Ecuador have submitted their resignations, the government announced on Monday, after the new bloodbath in the prison of Guayaquil, while the authorities of the Latin American state are facing an increase of crime related to drug trafficking.

President Guillermo Lasso “accepted the resignation” of the head of the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense, Rear Admiral Jorge Canbrera, and the director of the Penitentiary Service (SNAI), Bolivar Garzon, informed the publicity.

New appointments have been announced – General Orlando Fabian Fuel has taken over as chief of staff, intelligence chief Fausto Combo as new SNAI chief – and Mr Lasso chaired a crisis meeting yesterday in the second largest city in the southernmost state, Guayaquil. financial capital.

Guayaquil Prison turned into a hotbed of violent clashes between rival gangs on Friday and Saturday, killing 68 people and wounding 25, according to official figures.

With knives, firearms and explosives, inmates attacked, after cutting off the power, their inmates in another ward of the prison where there are 8,500 inmates, or in other words their surplus population reaches 60%.

The authorities stigmatized the “bestiality” and “barbarity” of the perpetrators.

Σύμφωνα με την αστυνομία, η νέα σφαγή συνδεόταν με τον «αγώνα για την κυριαρχία» μετά την αποφυλάκιση την περασμένη εβδομάδα του αρχηγού μιας από τις συμμορίες στη φυλακή της Γουαγιακίλ.

“External threat”

Ecuador “faces a very serious threat from abroad, from drug-trafficking mafias, the same mafias that want to take control of all the country’s prisons and impose insecurity on the streets,” said President Lasso.

Promising “coordinated actions” by state services, the president said the country was facing “one of the biggest crises in decades.”

Earlier in the day, a presidential spokesman, Carlos Gijon, also hinted at a political conspiracy to destabilize the Conservative president, who is facing investigation following the revelations of the Pandora Papers investigation, as he is suspected of tax fraud.

“The real aim (of the massacre) was to commit a terrorist act that would shock the nation,” said Gijon, who was not merely “a clash between groups of detainees or gangs,” but “a an extremely serious situation that has political ramifications “.

With the inmates divided into 12 wards, where at least seven gang members are held separately, often rivals, including those with ties to the fearsome Mexican Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco Youth, the same jail in Guayaquil was in late September. of the worst prison massacre in Ecuadorian history and one of the worst in Latin American history.

A total of 119 detainees were killed in those clashes, some were dismembered, beheaded, or burned. Since the beginning of the year, the death toll in riots inside Ecuadorian prisons is at least 320.

In the 65 prisons of Ecuador, the surplus population of inmates is around 30%. Weapons of all kinds, drugs, mobile phones are trafficked in large quantities inside.

Between Colombia and Peru, the two countries that produce the largest quantities of cocaine in the world, Ecuador has become a drug trafficking platform due to its porous borders, its dollarized economy and its major export ports, especially Wales. economic capital of the country. The government has repeatedly said it is seeing a sharp rise in crime due to drug trafficking.

On October 18, the president declared a “state of emergency” across the country to fight the crime, which has claimed the lives of nearly 1,900 people since January.

He had already declared another “state of emergency” in prisons, announcing the deployment of army units. However, the Constitutional Court limited the duration of the measure, while forbidding the army to invade the prisons.

President Lasso yesterday demanded that the Constitutional Court allow the armed forces to intervene and not just guard the outside of penitentiaries.

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