Ecuador leader orders extradition of foreign prisoners

Ecuador leader orders extradition of foreign prisoners

/ 05:01 PM January 30, 2024

Ecuador leader orders extradition of foreign prisoners

This handout picture released by the Ecuadorean Armed Forces shows a military operation at the Del Litoral penitentiary in Guayaquil, Ecuador on January 19, 2024. AFP FILE PHOTO

QUITO — Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa on Monday ordered the extradition of all foreign nationals incarcerated in the country, which is in the grip of a severe prison crisis fueled by drug trafficking and violent gang battles.

In a decree signed Monday Noboa called on prison authority SNAI to carry out the administrative procedures necessary to see the foreign inmates serve their sentences “in their country of origin or nationality.”


The president noted that the small South American country’s detention facilities have only 30,200 places yet hold 33,000 inmates.


READ: Dozens of prisoners escape Ecuador jail amid continued military operations

A penitentiary census carried out in 2022 showed that over 10 percent of inmates in Ecuador were of foreign nationality.

Quito declared a state of emergency on January 8 triggered by the prison escape of one of the country’s most powerful narcotics gang bosses, Jose Adolfo Macias, known by the alias “Fito”.

Situated between major cocaine producers, Ecuador has been plunged into crisis after years of expansion by the transnational cartels that use its ports to ship the drug to the United States and Europe.

At least 20 people have been killed in the country’s prisons so far this year, and some 200 police officers and guards have been taken hostage — and ultimately released.

In mid-January, Noboa announced the extradition of some 1,500 Colombian prisoners, a measure rejected by Bogota.

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TAGS: Ecuador, Prisons, Security

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