First consensus conference in the penitentiary field in Ecuador - EL PAcCTO
  • Ecuador / Penitentiary systems
    First consensus conference in the penitentiary field in Ecuador

    The crisis in Ecuador’s penitentiary system has posed another challenge for the country in the fight against transnational organized crime, as clashes between organized groups have progressively intensified during 2021. Ecuadorian authorities have mobilized to address this phenomenon with the support of Charles Michel Geurts, Ambassador of the European Union in Ecuador through EL PAcCTO.

    Among the responses to the crisis, the board of directors of the technical body for social rehabilitation went into permanent session, the judicial and administrative authorities formed a commission for the prison crisis, the Foreign Ministry led a security and cooperation roundtable, the president set up a dialogue commission to address the crisis, composed of civil society actors, and the SNAI launched a wide-ranging work to improve the situation.

    To get closer to the complex reality of the prison system and its interrelationship with society and to support decision-making with a participatory method and a focus on scientific evidence, Minister Bernarda Ordoñez, from the Secretariat of Human Rights, and the deputy coordinator of the penitentiary component of the PAcCTO, proposed to propose a consensus conference to welcome public debate in the decision-making process. The PAcCTO relied on the ESQUEL foundation and the dialogue with all institutions, but also with field officials and civil society actors (academics, journalists, associations, national representation…) and launched a public consultation to gather the opinions of any interested citizen.

    Around the Dialogue Commission, which has already carried out visits to the establishments and meetings with the Ecuadorian authorities, but also with the persons deprived of their liberty, workshops will be opened to allow the debate in the presence of representatives of all the actors and of experts of the European task force specially armed to accompany Ecuador. At the end of the meeting, President Lasso will receive recommendations for urgent measures and reforms for a safer and more efficient penal system in which the risk of infiltration by transnational organized crime can be reduced.