The Ministry of Justice acquired 4,000 devices in 2016. The acquisition contract has been in a special examination by the Comptroller General since last May. The placement of electronic surveillance shackles is temporarily suspended. This does not affect the monitoring of the 2,748 people who carry it at a national level.
This is stated in a letter issued last August 8 by the Ministry of Justice, addressed to Marcelo Merlo, in charge of the Council of the Judiciary (CJ). Gina Godoy, zonal coordinator of the State portfolio, indicated that “the request that the judges refrain from granting the measure was transmitted to all localities.”
On August 18, 2016, the contract for the purchase of 4,000 devices was signed. This already finished and is also under a special examination process by the General Comptroller of the State, since May 2018.
Godoy said that since the acquisition have made 7,154 installations and uninstallations, always the same stock. “Due to the use some are deteriorated and must be repaired. Others are in reserve, but not in sufficient quantity to open availability.”
He explained that the possibility of opening a process for new companies to offer their service through the public procurement portal is analyzed. However, all options must be reviewed in the face of the institutional process following the resolution of the President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, that the powers of the Ministry of Justice be assumed by other State portfolios.
Víctor González, prosecutor of the Flagrant Offenses of Guayaquil, explained that the Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code (COIP) establishes different precautionary measures to guarantee the presence of the persons prosecuted.
In addition to preventive detention and the implementation of the shackle, there is a prohibition on being absent from the country, presenting oneself periodically before a judge or authority or institution that he or she designates, and house arrest.
This last measure was dictated to the 70-year-old citizen who allegedly practiced an abortion that ended with the death of a young woman in the suburb of the city. In the absence of the devices, police will be those who guard the house from which the defendant cannot leave.
The regulations also stipulates the use of the shackle to replace preventive detention in special cases (pregnant women, the elderly, and the terminally ill, among others) and to change the social rehabilitation regime.
Liliana Guzmán, Deputy Minister of Attention to Private Persons of Liberty, indicated – last June – that 2,442 devices were monitored. Of these 2,354 of free circulation, 70 of house arrest and 18 for victim protection. She also indicated that 52 people who carried the locator returned to the penitentiary centers for committing other crimes, mainly related to drugs. (I)