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At Least 50 Inmates Dead In Ecuador Prison Riots

At least 50 prisoners were killed on Tuesday and several were injured in riots in three Ecuadorian prisons. There, rival gangs often clash in overcrowded prisons.

National police said on Twitter that “more than 50” prisoners had died after feeling uneasy at facilities in the states of Guayas, Azuay and Cotopaxi.

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno also said on Twitter that the riots were due to “criminal gangs” engaged in “simultaneous violence in several prisons.”





Security forces are guarding Ecuadorian prisons. Dozens of prisoners were killed in the riots there.
AFP / Marcos Spin Mendes

Authorities are “acting to regain control,” he said.

Police did not say whether order was restored after the violence in the southwestern port city of Guayaquil and in Cuenca and Latacunga in the Andes.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, 38 of the deaths occurred in the largest facility section of Cuenca Prison.

Police commander Patricio Carrillo reported concerns in several prisons in South American countries, saying “the situation is serious.”



Relatives of prisoners involved in the violence on Tuesday gathered for news about the fate of their loved ones


Relatives of prisoners involved in the violence on Tuesday gathered for news about the fate of their loved ones
AFP / Marcos Spin Mendes

Several were injured in violence, including two serious injuries in Guayaquil.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Patricio Pasmino tweeted that a centralized headquarters was set up in response to what he said was “cooperative action by criminal organizations to cause violence in prisons.”

In December, gang competition and riots in Ecuadorian prisons caused by gangs killed 11 prisoners and injured seven.

A 90-day state of emergency in a national prison was ordered by Moreno last year to curb gang activity and reduce violence.

There are about 38,000 prisoners in Ecuador (a country with a population of 17 million), and 1,500 guards monitor them.

The government’s SNAI prison administration said the shortage of personnel “prevents immediate response” to the prisoner’s rebellion.

According to police, the prisoner conflict killed 51 people in 2020.

To reduce the number of prisoners in the coronavirus epidemic, the government commuted those convicted of minor crimes and reduced overcrowding from 42 percent to 30 percent.



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