Prison riots in Ecuador interrupt an outreach.

By April 16, 2004

Ecuador (MNN)–Nine days ago, prison inmates in Ecuador rioted over inhumane conditions, overcrowding and lengthy sentences.

The unrest broke out after guards went on strike to demand money from the central government for prison upkeep. That led to the inmates, nearly double the capacity, taking hostages in lieu of demands.

Ecuadorian police took control of the facilities back on Wednesday, and are fighting to restore order. The more than 100 hostages, taken across the nation, were freed on the promise the government would open debate on the prisoners’ demands.

Inmates want Congress to pass a bill currently under debate to release them before their sentences are up, perhaps as a reward for good behavior.

As these events occurred, they had an impact on ministry. The unrest in Ecuador’s jails disrupted an extensive prison ministry conducted by HCJB World Radio missionaries in both men’s and women’s prisons in Ecuador. Pray that the outreach will move back into action smoothly.

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