Chiefs of the armed forces and prisons resign amid prison crisis in Ecuador

The head of the joint command of the Armed Forces and of Ecuador’s prisons resigned from his positions, the government reported on Monday amid a prison crisis with massacres and a fight against drug trafficking.

President Guillermo Lasso "accepted the resignation" both the head of the joint command, Vice Admiral Jorge Cabrera, as well as the director of the body in charge of prisons (SNAI), Bolívar Garzón, said the communication secretariat of the presidency in a statement.

The president made those decisions in a meeting with the Ministers of Government (Interior) and Defense as well as with the military and police chiefs to "determine the main actions to continue taking in the face of the prison situation"added the text.

Lasso appointed General Orlando Fuel, who held the post of Army commander, as the new head of the joint command, and entrusted Marlo Brito, currently head of the state Strategic Intelligence Center (CIES), to lead the SNAI.

Between Friday and Saturday there was a massacre with 68 dead prisoners in the main penitentiary of the port of Guayaquil (southwest), also the scene of another armed clash between gangs with ties to drug trafficking in September with 119 deaths, constituting the largest prison massacre in Ecuador and one of the worst in Latin America.

To combat violence caused by drug trafficking, Lasso decreed on October 18 a state of exception for the entire nation, mobilizing the military into the streets to support the police in patrols and searches.


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