At Least 67 Inmates Have Been Killed in Prison Riots Across Ecuador

CREDIT: Twitter

At Least 67 Inmates Have Been Killed in Prison Riots Across Ecuador.

THE tragic number of deaths were the result of violent rival gang fights breaking out across three jails. There was also an escape attempt, authorities said Tuesday, February 23. Ecuador is currently battling severe prison overcrowding and frequent violence between rival gangs are a regular occurrence.

Hundreds of officers from tactical units had been deployed since the clashes broke out late Monday, February 22. Over 800 police officers were confirmed to have been tasked with regaining control of the facilities, according to Prisons Director Edmundo Moncayo

Speaking at a press conference from the Carondelet Palace, Moncayo reported 67 deaths and stated that two groups were trying to gain “criminal leadership within the detention centres” and that the clashes were precipitated by a search for weapons carried out on Monday by police officers.

President Lenín Moreno tweeted: “Criminal organisations carry out acts of simultaneous violence in several prisons in the country.

“The (National Police) in coordination with the Interior Minister (Patricio Pazmiño) are acting to regain control of prisons in Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga.”

Moreno also said he has ordered the Ministry of Defense “to exercise strict control of weapons, ammunition and explosives in the outer perimeters of prisons” as a result of this week’s riots.

The AFP reports that Tuesday’s riots coincided with a march of hundreds of indigenous people on Quito to demand a vote recount in the presidential elections. After the first round, which happened at the beginning of this month, their candidate was apparently left out in the cold.


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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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