Right now as you are reading your email a suspect is being rounded up on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. He is accused of breaking into his employer’s garage to steal some tools he cannot afford. The police question him. He denies wrongdoing. So they put him in the back of the van and attach wires to his genitals.
After a second denial the keys to the van’s ignition are turned. The electricity from the battery shocks the suspect causing him to scream in agony. The police question him again. Again he denies wrongdoing. So they shock him again and again. Eventually, he “confesses” and is taken to the prison.
When he arrives at the prison he is placed in a cell that measures six meters by six meters. He shares the cell with 44 other prisoners. He is surprised to see that one of his cellmates has a bandage wrapped around his neck. It is soaked with blood. The knife that someone used to slit his throat sits on a small table across the cell. The offender is gone. He’ll never again be seen alive.
As they walk towards the kitchen at lunchtime he notices the man with the bloody bandages walking right in front of him. They walk through puddles of urine mixed with fecal matter, which have leaked from broken pipes no one has fixed for months if not years. He wonders whether the man will die from an infection after barely surviving a knife attack.
The sound of clubs striking prisoners can be heard from the other side of the kitchen. So can the groans of those who are being whipped for failing to produce enough money for prison rent. Outside their relatives beg for money hoping they can collect enough to keep their loved ones from being beaten again.
Some prisoners are let go and told there was a mistake in their arrest. They are then shot in the back by prison guards who report the incidents as thwarted escape attempts. Some prison guards laugh when they are asked about the need for the death penalty, which had been outlawed officially in the late 1950s.
It is impossible to witness firsthand this kind of brutality and evil and adhere to the secular humanist worldview. Humanism assumes that people are good and that crime is caused by “society.” It therefore leads to the idea that government can reeducate its citizens and that, therefore, prisons can rehabilitate the criminal. The humanist mind fails to grasp the true nature of those who run the reeducation programs and the prisons.
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