Ecuadorian Episcopate Warns Society after Violent Riot at Penitenciaria del Litoral

A Violent riot in Penitenciaria del Litoral leaves 118 dead and 86 wounded.

Newsroom (05/10/2021 10:55, Gaudium Press) The riot at the Penitenciaria del Litoral, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, shocked the whole world. The rebellion started last Tuesday, leaving behind 118 dead and 86 wounded. The inmates rebelled against the prison system and state authority. Allegedly, it began with a clash between gangs.

According to the local police commander, Fausto Buenaño, some of the dead “showed wounds inflicted by firearms and grenades.” These weapons were in the hands of the inmates, making it difficult to regain control of the prison. “Our personnel entered with shields and without weapons,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of exception in the country’s penitentiary system, suspending prisoners’ rights to prevent further violence. Lasso, however, also promised an investment plan of more than 70 million to ease the overcrowded prison system.

Bishops’ Conference

In turn, the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador issued a communiqué as “an appeal to men and women of good will to value human life,” for “human beings are not expendable or disposable objects, something that can be used and thrown away.”

For the bishops, “a large number of deaths” is too high a price to maintain a monopoly of death, while the rest of society feels frightened, anguished and powerless, prone to demanding more deaths when thinking of its security.”

The prelates expressed solidarity with the families of the deceased. They offered them “moral and spiritual support to live this moment of mourning with faith and peace, forgiving those who ended their lives.”

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The bishops also called for reflection on the upheavals in society and the need to build the common good.

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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