Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Ecuador Presidential Candidate Proposes Prison Ships Far Out To Sea, Action Against Narco-Terrorists

 A presidential candidate in Ecuador has vowed to put the country’s most violent criminals in prison ships thousands of miles out to sea if he wins in October’s election, he told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Monday. 

Daniel Noboa, 35, finished second in last week’s presidential election, but no candidate received 50% of the vote, meaning there will be a runoff election in October. Ecuador, which has been rocked by violence in recent years, was called a “nerve center” in the global drug trade last year. Now, Noboa hopes to fix both of those issues. 

“Groups of narco-terrorists are involved here. We are living through a war,” Noboa told AFP of the violence and drug problem in Ecuador, vowing to bring reforms to the country to attempt to make it safer. 

According to the outlet, the presidential contender was inside a “well-guarded van,” wearing a bulletproof vest, and had a team of bodyguards around him during the interview. This is likely because just three weeks ago, a top candidate for president, Fernando Villavicencio – who also vowed to take on crime in the South American country – was assassinated by “organized crime,” according to current President Guillermo Lasso. 

“I am saying similar things to him,” Noboa said. “Maybe they will kill me too.”

One of Noboa’s reforms includes placing violent criminals in prison ships “thousands of miles out at sea,” as AFP reports. Ecuador’s prisons are notoriously dangerous, often being run by criminal gangs, according to CNN. Just last month, 31 people died after an uprising at the Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The country’s National Forensic Service said some of those victims were beheaded and over 100 prison guards were being held hostage by inmates across five prisons. 

In the past two years, roughly 430 inmates throughout Ecuador’s prison system have been killed, according to the National Police of Ecuador. For reference, 143 prisoners were killed in U.S. state prisons in 2019 – a record high. 

The presidential contender says his policy of leasing ships and sending them out to sea could “solve the problem quickly.” The prison ships will each house several hundred of the country’s most dangerous criminals, who will be under armed guard, AFP notes. 


“Building a maximum-security prison will take two, three, four years, which yes, we will have to do simultaneously,” he told the outlet. “Strong measures can be taken … you can’t change the world in a year and a half, but you can change key things. Reduce violence, give opportunities to the youth,” he added. 

In May, President Lasso dissolved the country’s National Assembly in an effort to avoid being impeached over allegations the president failed to act regarding a corrupt contract between a private tanker company and a state-owned oil transport company, according to the Associated Press. 

The move triggered new elections, which Lasso decided not to run for. Noboa, who was not polling within the top five prior to the election, was likely helped by the assassination of Villavicencio, who was seen as a top contender. Noboa, a businessman and former member of the National Assembly, is running as a member of the National Democratic Action party, which is described as center-right. He is the heir to a banana exporting company.

In October, Noboa will face off against frontrunner Luisa Gonzalez, who is reportedly a protege of Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s former socialist president.

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