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Construction of new prison in Ecuador will soon begin

Quito, Jun 21 (Prensa Latina) The president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, plans to attend the ceremony of construction beginning of a new prison in the province of Santa Elena.

Since his first days in office, the president promised the construction of two new penitentiaries to detain leaders of criminal gangs as part of “Plan Fénix”, as he calls his security strategy.

The director of the National Service for Comprehensive Attention to Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI), Luis Zaldumbide, recently pointed out that the first correctional center will cost 52 million dollars.

The facility’s construction, which has similarities with those built in El Salvador by the government of Nayib Bukele, will take around 300 days, therefore the inauguration is scheduled for 2025, Zaldumbide declared.

Amid the existing security crisis in the country, the president also promised the construction of another prison in the province of Pastaza but, according to the governor of the territory, Rolando Ramos, the project has been suspended for the moment, since the Confederation of Nationalities Indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon rejected its construction in the province, which is largely occupied by indigenous communities, as it violates the rights to prior, free and informed consultation, as established by the Constitution.

As stated by the Government, the new prisons will have a space divided into three modules for 736 detainees; high security (160 cells with four detainees each), maximum security (32 cells with two inmates each), and super-maximum security (32 individual cells for highly dangerous prisoners).

To finance his Plan, the president raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 12 to 15 percent and recently reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that provides for the end of fuel subsidies to obtain credit for four billion dollars.

Although the Government assures that insecurity and violent deaths have decreased, violent events persist in various areas of the country.