Europe 1 with AFP 11:29 a.m., February 23, 2022

In Ecuador, President Guillermo Lasso on Tuesday announced the pardon of some 5,000 prisoners to reduce overcrowding in the country's prisons, where a series of massacres took place which left more than 320 dead in 2021. The president wants to end with this overcrowding by the end of the year.

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso on Tuesday announced the pardon of some 5,000 prisoners to reduce overcrowding in the country's prisons where a series of massacres took place that left more than 320 dead in 2021. He said in an interview with local media wanting to end overcrowding in prisons by the end of the year to ensure a safer environment.

An occupancy rate above 30% of prison capacity

Around 39,000 prisoners are currently incarcerated in Ecuador, 30% more than prison capacity, of which 15,000 are still awaiting trial.

Guillermo Lasso said he signed a pardon decree on Monday, leaving the judges responsible for implementing it.

The beneficiaries of this presidential pardon will be detainees convicted of theft, fraud or breach of trust, according to the Ecuadorian press.

The president also released a budget of 27 million dollars aimed at improving prison conditions.

Ecuadorian prisons were the scene in 2021 of deadly scenes of clashes between rival gangs linked to drug trafficking, which left more than 320 dead, one of the worst tolls in Latin America.

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