Poor management led to prison violence, rights group says; Driver takes law into her own hands; Swan Lake on ice performs; Airlines ask for breaks
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) says poor management is largely to blame for violence in Ecuador’s prison system. In a report following its December visit, the commission acknowledged that drug gangs instigated the riots that left more than 300 prisoners dead in 2021, but said poor planning and neglect allowed the gangs to take control the prisons.
The IACHR recommended that the government develop plans to regain control by improving administrative procedures and adding more better trained and better equipped guards. It also said that prisoner medical and psychological services should be upgraded and that educational programs and daily activities should be instituted.
The report said that overcrowding is a major problem in the prisons. “The government should develop a policy that prioritizes crime prevention over incarceration,” IACHR said. “It should also strengthen efforts to keep violent criminals separate from non-violent inmates.”
In addition IACHR noted that mistakes of poor prison design and neglect of growing problems occurred during the administrations of Rafael Correa and Lenin Moreno.
Swan Lake on Ice plays at Pumapungo
The European Ice Ballet will perform Swan Lake on Ice, Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. at the Pumapungo Theater in Cuenca. The ballet also performs in Quito.
According to promoters, the ballet company consists primarily of Russian and Ukranian skaters, two of which performed at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Driver takes law into her own hands
This is what happened last Thursday when a motorcycle-riding thief pointed a pistol at a driver in Milagro in Guayas Province. Click here to see the video.
Airlines ask for tax breaks
Ecuador’s Association of Airline is asking the government to eliminate the 5 percent surcharge jet fuel. The association says that the charge, plus other travel taxes, increase airline tickets by 44 percent.
According to Marco Subía, association president, the taxes and surcharge put Ecuador at a disadvantage compared to neighboring Colombia and Peru. “The taxes and fees in those markets add up to less than 35 percent of ticket prices and we are asking the government to consider reductions, starting with the fuel tax,” he said.
Subía thanked President Guillermo Lasso for eliminating the currency exit tax for international airlines last year, saying is a “step in the right direction.”
Ecuador’s Production Minister Julio José Prado said elimination of the fuel surcharge was originally included in the investment law currently before the National Assembly but was removed for technical reasons. “We are looking at other ways to eliminate the surcharge and will announce the plan soon.”
Air transport customers are also pushing for elimination of the surcharge. Felipe Rivadeneira, president of the trade association Fedexpor, says the reduction of fees is critical for the competitiveness of Ecuador exports.