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Construction of new mega prison generates controversy in Ecuador

Quito, Jun 24 (Prensa Latina) The construction of the new mega prison in the Ecuadorian province of Santa Elena generates controversy in Ecuador amid complaints of rights violations in the penitentiaries.

The so-called “Meeting Prison” will cost 52 million dollars and will have five pavilions, four patios, and three security fences, distributed over an area of 12.2 hectares of construction.

According to the Executive, the inauguration is scheduled for 2025 and it will be the second maximum security prison after La Roca, located in the coastal city of Guayaquil, province of Guayas.

This Friday, President Daniel Noboa made official the beginning of the construction of the prison, which he classified as a milestone in the fight against terrorism and the mafias that controlled and held hostage the prison system. “This prison will make anyone who seeks to commit a crime to think twice,” the president said.

The general director of the National Service for Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI), Luis Zaldumbide, stated that this is a project that promises to improve detention conditions and facilitate the social reintegration of prisoners. The strategic location of the prison, five kilometers from Juntas del Pacífico, in an internal agricultural area, will ease security management, he said.

However, community members in the area fear traffic and the dispossession of their lands and warned that property titles are appearing over a territory that is non-transferable and non-seizable.

There is concern in the communities that the new prison project is the spearhead for the proliferation of irregular settlements.