The President of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, has ordered the extradition of all foreign prisoners incarcerated in the country, which is in the grip of an acute prison crisis. He asked the SNAI prison authority to carry out the necessary administrative procedures for foreigners to serve their sentences “in their country of origin or nationality,” in a decree signed Monday, January 29.

Mr. Noboa argued that the country’s prisons only have 30,200 places for more than 33,000 inmates. A census carried out in 2022 established that more than 10% of people detained in Ecuador were of foreign nationality. In mid-January, Mr. Noboa announced the extradition of some 1,500 Colombian prisoners, a measure rejected by Bogota which had warned that those unilaterally repatriated would be released as soon as they crossed the border.

Quito declared a state of emergency on January 8 and more than 22,000 military and police officers were deployed after the escape of a gang leader, Adolfo Macias known as “Fito,” sparked a wave of criminal violence without precedent across the country. Members of the country’s twenty-two criminal gangs are now considered “terrorists” and military targets.

Prosecutor’s offices targeted by shooting

Gangs linked to drug trafficking and involving Colombians and Mexicans in particular are waging a merciless war even in the prisons, where since the start of the year at least twenty people have been killed and where some 200 police officers and guards have been taken into custody. hostages.

In addition, the prosecutor’s offices in the port city of Manta, a hub for drug shipping from Ecuador, were on Monday the target of shootings claimed by “Los Choneros”, the “Fito” gang. .

The attack “fortunately did not cause any casualties, but only material damage”, the prosecutor’s office said on X, calling on the police to “ensure that the safety of people and property is guaranteed “. The public prosecutor’s office released the image of a leaflet left in front of the building accompanied by the photo of the gang leader. “Don’t touch the family, they are foreign to all my problems,” says this document signed “Los Choneros”. “We will continue to attack public institutions until they leave the family alone,” it added.

Two weeks ago, anti-mafia prosecutor Cesar Suarez was shot dead in broad daylight in the center of Guayaquil (South-West). He had requested information about “Fito’s” wife, Inda Penarrieta, who was extradited from Argentina with her three children on January 19.