Ecuador prison warden killed during election day News
Ruysdael Chinga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ecuador prison warden killed during election day

Director of El Rodeo prison Cosme Parrales was killed Sunday in an attack at a cevicheria in Jipijapa,  a city located in the Manabi province of Ecuador, according to the National Service of Comprehensive Care for Adults Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Violators (SNAI).

According to local news, Parrales was a lawyer who had held several positions within the SNAI since 2021 before he was designated as director of El Rodeo prison on April 15.

The murder of Parrales took place during the security referendum and popular consultation in Ecuador. There were 11 questions in total, five regarding the referendum that will implicate a change in the constitution and six for popular consultation. The issues addressed by these questions were related to justice, security, employment and international arbitration.

The incident comes amid a period of intense instability in the South American country. Earlier this month, two political figures were also killed. On April 17, the Mayor of Camilo Ponce, José Sánchez, was murdered when he was jogging with his security team. Then, on April 19, the Mayor of Portovelo, Jorge Maldonado, was shot dead, as confirmed by the Ecuadorian Municipalities Association. Last month, during the state of emergency, Ecuador’s youngest mayor, Brigitte Garcia, and her director of communications were found shot dead in a car.

Although Ecuador declared a state of emergency in January, which President Daniel Noboa extended in March and ended on April 7, the problems related to security persist.