Last June, a meeting was held between the director of the Ecuadorian National Comprehensive Care Service (SNAI), General Moncayo, a representative of the European Union delegation on behalf of the ambassador, Charles-Michel Geurts, and a delegation from the EL PAcCTO team, with the aim of understanding the priorities for the new prison cooperation project to be undertaken with the Ecuadorian government.
The director of the SNAI expressed the need to create a prison school in Ecuador and requested technical assistance from the European EL PAcCTO programme to structure the project. The directors of the penitentiary schools in Chile and Portugal Eduardo Muñoz Bravo and Vitor Peña Ferreira, had already expressed their interest and solidarity in supporting Ecuador within the framework of the Prison Academy Network (RAP) and even more so after their visit last February to a prison that left more than 80 dead in four simultaneous riots. A meeting was, therefore, organised in July to shape the accompanying itinerary, with representatives of the SNAI and the prison schools in Chile and Portugal.
The meeting allowed each representative from the institutions present to provide details regarding their functions and possible contributions to the project. Initially, EL PAcCTO will work with the SNAI to develop a collaboration project which will be complemented by the participation of Chile and Portugal. One of the objectives will be to support the structuring of the training centre, the framework curriculum and the training of trainers.
Thanks to the quality of the exchanges, the results of the meeting exceeded expectations as the counterparts decided to create an agreement to allow lasting and fruitful relationships between the penitentiary schools.
EL PAcCTO is working to promote bi-regional cooperation that will be maintained between all the penitentiary institutions, even after the end of the programme. In this context, one of the priorities highlighted is educating prison personnel, as staff training is a necessary condition for improving the prison system, in terms of management, security and the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.