On Monday, a new riot in prison in Ecuador left at least 44 inmates dead and a dozen injured. Another hundred prisoners managed to escape amid the violence, which seems to be spreading through the prisons of the country.
At a press conference, the Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, said that a brawl escaped at the jail in the Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo. While the Los Lobos gang attacked and eliminated about forty members of a faction called R7.
After the riot in prison in Ecuador, wounded people with beaten faces were transferred in vans and ambulances for medical attention. At the same time, relatives of the prisoners crowded around the penitentiary center looking for information, the media found.
According to images released by authorities, dozens of inmates knelt in a courtyard with their handing off their heads under the gaze of the uniformed men.
With this latest bloody attack, Ecuadorian prisons have totaled almost 400 inmates brutally killed in six massacres since February 2021. During a surge of violence that the government attributes to the conflict of criminal groups linked to drug trafficking.
Carrillo initially told reporters that two prisoners had died, but later his office updated the figure to 43, as did the Prosecutor’s Office.
However, he also said that they transferred 13 people to health centers, many seriously, and this number (of deaths) may increase.
The Ministry of the Interior reported 44 deaths and ten injuries in a final balance.
A police officer was injured, authorities confirmed.
The authorities confirmed that they were in control of the situation and ordered to reinforce the security of the overcrowded prison, but more than a hundred inmates managed to escape amid the disorders.
General Fausto Salinas, the police commander, said that although the authorities have not given the exact number of escapees, they recaptured 112, while 108 inmates were not in the center on Monday afternoon.
Most of the victims died from bladed weapons in their cells, and later some prisoners used firearms to escape from the place. The authorities found rifles, pistols, four grenades and ammunition in the prison riot in Ecuador.
President Guillermo Lasso, who is in Israel intending to reach a security agreement, sent his heartfelt condolences to deceased families on Twitter. Also, he said that his government would not give the arm to twist before the mafias and would resume the order in prisons.
Whereas Irene Salazar, a relative of a detainee, said that the government is with its crossed arms in the face of prison violence.
The 29-year-old woman asked the media why the government didn’t do anything?
The Interior Ministry reported the transfer of six Bellavista gang leaders to two maximum-security prisons last night.
The Lasso government has taken this measure before, allocating budgets to prisons and creating a pacification commission. Still, they have been insufficient to stop the prison massacres, one of the worst in Latin America.
According to the authorities, overcrowding is another problem because 1,700 prisoners live in Bellavista, 500 more than its capacity. At the national level, with a capacity of about 30,000 people in the 65 prisons, there are about 35,000 prisoners.
Authorities doubted that the clashes originated from the transfer of Bellavista, one of the leaders of the R7 group, through a judicial measure.
Carrillo said that the ringleader was in a maximum-security prison in the coastal province of Guayas. After carrying out another confrontation in the El Turi prison, which left 20 dead a month ago.
Daniel Pontón, dean of the Security and Defense School of the Institute of Higher National Studies (IAEN), transfers these figures to create power vacuums in the prisons that are taken advantage of by rival gangs or members of a group search to replace that leadership. That’s where the violence occurs.
Pontón told the media that it expands the phenomenon of violence to other prisons when it occurs in Bellavista. It had been relatively calm and was beginning to make the problem general.
Out of prisons, the growing violence in the streets of Ecuador, based on drug trafficking, leaves 1,255 deaths in the first four months of the year. It includes beheadings and mutilations, and they registered half of them in all of 2021.
An emergency is in effect until the end of June in three western provinces, the hardest hit by drug trafficking.