A new riot this Monday left at least one prison in Ecuador 43 dead prisoners And a dozen were injured, while another hundred prisoners managed to escape amid the violence erupting in the country’s prisons.
Early morning assault in jail Bellavista in Santo Domingo (about 80 km from Quito) when the Los Lobos gang “attacks and eliminates about forty members of a faction called “R7”, Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said at a news conference.
AFP found that the wounded were beaten up with their faces moved in vans and ambulances to seek medical help, while relatives of prisoners crowded around the prison.
Inside a courtyard, during an operation, dozens of prisoners were forced to kneel with their hands on their heads in the eyes of uniformed officers. gain control of the prison, As per the images released by the officials.
With this latest bloody episode, Ecuadorian prisons connect brutally murdered around 400 prisoners Six massacres since February 2021, in the middle of a violent wave that the government blames on the clash of criminal groups linked to drug trafficking.
Carrillo initially told reporters that two prisoners had died, but his office later updated the figure to 43, as did the prosecutor’s office.
Thirteen were also injured in the violence, “many seriously,” and death toll may increase The minister commented.
One police officer was injured, officials confirmed.
officials announced to be “under control” of the situation And he ordered a reinforcement of 250 police officers and 200 soldiers guarding the overcrowded prison, but more than a hundred prisoners managed to escape amid the chaos.
Although officials did not give an exact number of the total number of escapees, 112 were “recaptured”, while 108 prisoners “are not in the center” on Monday afternoon, the general said. Fausto Salinas, Police Commander.
While most victims died with sharp weapons, some prisoners used firearms against police Possibly in an attempt to escape.
officers found in jail rifle, pistol, four grenades and ammunition, Indicated to the SNAI, the body in charge of the administration of prisons.
President Guillermo Lasso, On a tour of Israel, he sent “heartfelt condolences to the relatives” of the deceased.
“This is an unfortunate consequence of mass violence,” he added on Twitter.
But Irene Salazar, a relative of a detainee, said the government “stands with its hands crossed” in the face of prison violence.
“Why doesn’t the government do anything? (…) What is he talking about? More money for him! And the poor who die of hunger,” the 29-year-old woman told AFP.
Despite a number of measures—including budget allocation, the transfer of the most dangerous prisoners to a center, and the creation of a peace commission—the Lasso government has not been able to stop the prison massacre, one of the worst in Latin America.
overcrowding That’s another problem with Ecuadorian prisons: Belavista holds 1,700 prisoners, 500 more than their capacity. Nationally, there are around 35,000 prisoners in 65 prisons with a capacity of around 30,000 people, according to officials.
Santo Domingo escaped heavy violence last year, centered in prisons Guayaquil, Latacunga and Cuenca.
Officials suspect clashes took place For the transfer of one of the leaders of the R7 group to Belavista, Thanks for the precautionary measure.
The ringleader was in a maximum security prison in the coastal province of Guayas (southwest) after acting in another confrontation between Los Lobos and R7 at the El Turi prison in the Andean city of Cuenca (south), in which 20 people were killed. months, Carrillo said.
For Security Expert, Daniel Ponton, Violence is spreading in other jails due to the transfer of gang leaders on the orders of the court.
“This strategy of moving people to other peninsula centers that were previously relatively quiet (…) is beginning to normalize the problem,” Ponton, dean of the Security Institute’s School of Security and Defense, told AFP. High National Studies (IAEN).
Ecuador also faced increasing violence on the streets and drug trafficking, That leaves 1,255 criminal deaths—including those beheaded and mutilated—in the first four months of the year, half the number recorded throughout 2021.
In response, the government ruled exception status In the provinces of Guayas, Manab and Esmeraldas, which are hardest hit by drug trafficking, they are valid until the end of June.
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