The riot in the prison of Santo Domingo los Tsáchilas, Ecuadorand the consequent massacre that has been recorded, adds to a series of similar events that have criminal groups linked to drug trafficking as protagonists.
In it 2019, 32 people were murdered according to the National Service for Persons Deprived of Liberty. The following year, only the clashes between the Choneros Y lizards -subsidiaries of “the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels”- left 51 dead in the country’s prisons.
READ ALSO: More than 500 detainees in the first seven days of the state of emergency in Ecuador
For him 2021, the panorama was not so different. Only for February, “at least 62 people” they had been “murdered in the riots registered in the prisons of Guayaquil, Truzi (Azuay) and Cotopaxi”.
And, by November of that year, the Litoral Penitentiary (Guayaquil) was the place of the worst prison massacre in the country.
For this moment, the Explanation was that the State had been very lax in controlling the prisons, to the point that they had ceded their power to these gangs. As a consequence, contract killings increased: during the first half of 2021 alone, 1,025 crimes were recorded.
It was already said that the excessive permissiveness could be explained by the transformation of the Ecuadorian government into a narco-statefrom subtracting funds to the “Control operations for drug shipments at borders and main ports”.
The numbers They were and are scandalous: by 2021, 210 tons of drugs were seized -mostly cocaine-. This year, the number reaches 75.
READ ALSO: Ecuador: Military Assume Control of Provinces Taken Over by Drug Traffickers and Organized Crime
The failure of the state of exception?
With a very complicated panorama for the Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso -who was elected to the position in 2021-, May began with the declaration of the state of emergency. “The coastal Guayas, Manabí and Esmeraldas” and some “areas with greater violence in towns such as Guayaquil”, were those affected.
The AFP agency recalls that, from this decision, “nine thousand soldiers and police took control of the three provinces of Ecuador most affected by drug trafficking and crime”.
“It is not an easy task to restore security”, he tweeted Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo.
There seemed to be no other answer to the situation. AFP describes her: “Hand in hand with drug traffickers, crime has grown in Ecuador, with 1,255 dead -among them beheaded and mutilated- in the first quarter of this year compared to 2,500 in all of 2021 and 1,400 in 2020″.
Hence, what happened in the Santo Domingo prison is not surprising. At the close of the note, the death toll exceeded 40.
“The first year of the government of Guillermo Lasso will be fulfilled, who, from the beginning, said that security was one of his priorities”, he comments Mauricio Alarcón, executive director of the Citizenship and Development Foundation.
And he adds: “However, what is happening is the product of the lack of public policies, plans and concrete programs that allow us, at least, to understand what actions can be implemented to solve the problem.”.
In a few words, for Alarcón, the problem is the excess of “diagnostics” and the little action. “The Government resorted to easy speech, to understand that insecurity is only the product of drug trafficking and irregular activities, and ordered a state of emergency to mobilize the military”.
“But the situation is so critical that, despite this, we have just had a new massacre in a social rehabilitation center, a center that is not even considered a priority to calm this situation”.
And how is it explained that the Government has resorted only to this exit? The specialist considers that it is because the vast majority of public officials do not have experience in the State. Their orders, therefore, do not usually consider “how bureaucracy works”.
“Many believe that a good manager in the private sector is automatically a good leader in the public service. It is not like that and we are seeing it. This is added, in addition, to the fact that the ministries do not act by [miedo al] low level of trust and popularity of the government”.
“Improvisation is taking its toll on us”, he says.
We will have to wait to see if, as a result of the Lasso’s visit to Israel -which began, precisely, today-, the president proposes new ways to solve the tremendous insecurity and misgovernment.