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Last Saturday, the government of Ecuador has declared a state of emergency in the two provinces of Ecuador due to the security crisis that involves killing of the country’s Mayor in Manabi, massacre of inmates, distribution of drugs and ammunition that was being controlled by the inmates belonging to powerful criminal groups. Many police officers were also taken as hostage when they tried to pacify the situation at the prison. Around 11 bodies along with dozens of body parts have been recovered from a major prison and thirty-one people have been found dead uptil this Thursday.
None amongst the five different directors of the prison service as named by Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador’s embattled president, has been able to reduce the type of violence that has been present in the prisons. The Covid-19 had further fueled the situation of trafficking of drug, especially cocaine, as it falls between Peru and Columbia which are known to be the largest narcotics production hotspots across the world. This happened due to half of its workforce being employed in the informal sector who lost their job contracts during the lockdown and further restrictions imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.
Reasons for violent clashes in prison
As per a study published by the researchers of British Economic and Social Research Council, England. The various reasons that give birth to the conflicts and fights in the prison ultimately trickles down to the culture of the prison that persists. Prisoners have to fight for necessary services and items due to overcrowding along with the fact that some of them maybe subjected to racial discrimination or to disrespect owing to their social status. This results in inmates fighting with each other. Another factor involves prisoners getting violent and fighting against the officers if their complaints or queries are not paid heed to.
Incidents of Prison clashes in India
India too has witnessed clashes between the jail inmates over the years. The most recent one occurred in the month of May this year where two inmates of Tihar jail located in Delhi were involved in a fight following a clash between their respective groups. Both of them were admitted to the hospital as they suffered serious injuries due to the usage of sharp weapons like a makeshift weapon and a tile. In another instance, prisoners along with the officers were hurt at Delhi’s Tihar jail. This happened following a fight between the police officers and the inmates after the former decided to hold an inspection after getting suspicious of cellphones being used by some prisoners along with the hiding of weapons inside the jail. One of the main reasons that contributes to prison clashes here is the issue of overcrowding that’s prevalent in the Indian jails which leads to conflicts in the using of the already scarce resources provided to the them.