Ecuador Prison Warden Murdered During Security Vote

Ecuador Prison Warden Murdered During Security Vote

Ecuador Prison Warden Murdered During Security Vote

The head warden of a prison in western Ecuador was fatally shot. This unfortunate incident occurred while the citizens were participating in a referendum to decide on President Noboa’s strategies to combat criminal gangs and improve the overall security situation.

On Sunday, during Ecuadorians’ participation in a referendum to address gang violence and unrest, assailants fatally shot a prison warden in Ecuador.

According to the national prison authority, an attack tragically claimed the life of Damian Parrales, the head of El Rodero prison.

SNAI did not disclose details surrounding Parrales’ death but assured cooperation with authorities to identify the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, voters considered 11 security-related issues, including military engagement against gangs, streamlining criminal extradition, and imposing tougher penalties for offenses like terrorism and murder.

With nearly 13.6 million eligible voters, Ecuador is facing a surge in violence stemming from neighboring Colombia, the largest cocaine producer globally.

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What is the purpose of the referendum?

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa, who has been in power for almost a year, is seeking public support for his efforts to address the current situation. He also aims to amend the constitution to simplify extraditing Ecuadorians wanted in other countries for organized crime.

An initial exit poll revealed strong voter backing for the extradition of mafia leaders to US prisons and other measures against gangs. The “yes” vote in favor of extradition received 72% support, while the “no” vote received 25% of the total votes, as reported by Infinity Estrategas.

“After defending our country, we will now have more tools to combat crime and bring peace back to Ecuadorian families,” stated Noboa following the release of the exit poll.

The recent surge in violence has been attributed to gangs with ties to international cartels, who utilize Ecuadorian ports to transport drugs to the US and Europe. Additionally, the country is grappling with water and power shortages amidst strained relations with Mexico.

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In January, a notorious drug lord escaped from prison and gangs abducted numerous individuals, including law enforcement officers and prison staff. Additionally, gang members attacked a TV studio during a live broadcast, resulting in the deaths of 20 people. In response to the chaos, Noboa declared a state of “internal armed conflict,” granting him emergency powers to deploy the military.

Over the past year, assailants have assassinated more than twelve politicians, including presidential hopeful Fernando Villavicencio.

Official records indicate that Ecuador’s murder rate has surged to 43 per 100,000 residents, a significant increase from six in 2018.

At 36 years old, Noboa has directed the country’s armed forces to address the security crisis, particularly focusing on the rampant violence and criminal activities within prisons. Despite these efforts, the violence persists.

With elections approaching next year, Ecuador is preparing for a transition while Noboa has 18 months left in his term.

He assumed office following the resignation of former President Guillermo Lasso, who stepped down amidst a corruption probe by the Congress.

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