The doors of freedom opened after 8:00 pm on July 28. Kelvi and Andrea had a new opportunity to make up for their error in society. The lack of the evidences (knife) that supposedly had used to commit a robbery, sent them again to the street. In order to guarantee their presence in the process that they had to face in any case, the court ordered them to appear before the judge every Monday. Additionally, the 20-year-old had to use an electronic device on his ankle.
Forty-eight hours later, the couple returned to justice. But not to comply with the judicial provision. Both were again arrested for the same crime: robbery. The shackle had not stopped Kelvi in his wanderings through the streets of Quito.
Since the implementation of the device (January 2016), the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Worship registers 2,862 people with the placement of the electronic bracelet or anklet. In large part, as a precautionary measure and as a substitute for pre-trial detention for a crime, or on parole to those who serve a sentence. 58% corresponds to the penitentiary regime and 39% to the accused for flagrancy
From April 19 to August 1 of this year, about 73 bearers of the device facing criminal proceedings in Zone 8 (including Guayaquil, Durán and Samborondón) have committed a new offense (crime), according to Justice.
The placement of the ankle brace is contemplated in article 522 of the Organic Penal Code (COIP) and can be applied in all crimes. There are no limits, clarifies a prison judge.
From 2017 until the end of July 2018, the Police Command of Zone 8 registers 1,104 persons deprived of liberty (ppl) with shackles. 73%, for drug trafficking, carrying arms, organized crime, against private property and life. And 125 of them register two and three arrests. 50% for theft.
The Anti-Narcotics Unit of Zone 8 revealed this week that 9 people have been detained again this year, carrying the device. All, by micro-trafficking. The last case was Felipe’s. The police stopped him with 15 packets of H. He sold them from his home in Durán, province of Guayas. The man was carrying an electronic device on his ankle, from a previous robbery process.
“Every person who has been detained with a shackle has been found with substances subject to control, in their homes or in the places where they have been selling,” said Colonel Edwin Noguera, Head of Counter-Narcotics Zone 8.
Although the institution prefers not to confront the issue, the discomfort is observed. “We will continue as police stopping the times,” warns the officer. But he hopes that the other institutions in charge of administering justice will carry out their work, to avoid seeing those who have been prosecuted, to commit crimes again in the streets.
“Fortunately, meetings are being established to articulate this type of procedure, so that, in an integrated manner, both the Prosecutor’s Office, the Judiciary, and the competent authorities can see what is the best option to avoid affecting citizenship,” he says.
Gina Godoy, zonal coordinator of the Ministry of Justice, clarifies that as an institution cannot tell the Judiciary what it has to do. “When a judge arranges the installation of a device in an offender, makes a series of assessments and motivations that note them in their judgments … That is the social roots, because in addition the offense committed does not cause more social commotion,” she explains and clarifies something important: the ankle is only geo-positioning. “It is not an eye that allows us to identify what is the behavior or activity of the device’s bearer … The system does not work for that because it is not a camera.”
For beneficiaries with free circulation (1,107) there is no restriction. It is up to the judge to indicate how far he should go. However, whoever wears the shackle cannot get close to ports, airports and border.
The control at a national scale is carried out from the ECU-911 in three points: Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, through a map of Ecuador on the screen and with the distinctive traffic light. The green indicates that everything is under control. The yellow generates an alert, either because the battery has run out. And red warns of an immediate intervention.
A new process for non-compliance
Failure to comply with a provision issued by a judicial authority (judge) ends the measure. In this case, the defendant who has benefited from the placement of the electronic anklet and commits a new crime and is arrested, will face a new criminal process.
Gina Godoy explains that in that case they proceed to remove the device and take it to jail, to serve the prison or the rest of the sentence, in case of prison regime.
But everything doesn’t end there
Article 282 of the COIP provides that the person who fails to comply with orders, specific prohibitions or legally due, directed to it by a competent authority, will be punished with between one and three years in prison. This time, explains the official, the Judicial Branch is the entity that follows the process for that breach. (I)