Ecuador president pardons some prisoners to ease jail overcrowding – Metro US

Ecuador president pardons some prisoners to ease jail overcrowding

COP26 in Glasgow
COP26 in Glasgow

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has pardoned prisoners jailed for minor traffic crimes and others suffering terminal illnesses to alleviate overcrowding in penitentiaries across the country, his press office said.

A wave of violence has beset Ecuador’s prisons in recent months, leaving scores of prisoners dead as gangs fight for control of drug trafficking routes.

As well as violence, Ecuador’s prisons are plagued by overcrowding of around 30% and poor living conditions for the system’s 39,000 inmates.

In a statement announcing the move late on Monday, the government did not specify how many prisoners will receive a pardon.

“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,” the statement added.

Ecuador is also preparing to send 170 Colombian prisoners back to their own country, following an agreement with Colombia’s government over the weekend.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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