| Photo: EFE/José Jácome
At least 43 prisoners died in the early hours of Monday (9), during a new riot that took place in the penitentiary in the city of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, in Ecuador, informed the Attorney General’s Office.
In a message published on Twitter, the agency confirmed that “they were told 30 inmates killed so far”, a few minutes after the minister of Interior, Patricio Carrillo, to have announced that 41 arrested had died.
“Most of them, not to say almost 36%, at first glance, were deprived of life with a bladed weapon, not with a firearm,” Carrillo said at a press conference moments earlier.
The minister added that most of the bodies “were exposed and attacked in the pavilions and cells” and that 112 prisoners had been recaptured, some already out of prison.
The National Police was mobilized and coordinated with the Armed Forces to protect the roads connecting the prison to the canton (municipality) and the rest of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.
Carrillo observed than the clashes in prison, in which also people were injured (some of them in a serious condition), they occurred between a criminal organization calling itself Los Lobos and another dissident criminal group, which called itself R7.
Due to the seriousness of some of the injured, the minister did not rule out that the number of dead could increase in the coming hours.
The minister described what happened in Bellavista prison as “cruelty”, and said it was the same group that recently provoked another confrontation in the p of Turi, in the city of Cuenca, who left 20 dead prisoners and at least ten wounded.
Carrillo stated that the heads of criminal groups should be subject to stricter disciplinary regimes. According to him, after the incidents, searches were carried out in which the authorities found “hidden firearms”.
)In Ecuador, almost 400 inmates have been killed in the last two years in clashes between rival organizations linked to to drug trafficking who fight for internal control of prisons and have ramifications inside and outside prisons, according to the authorities.
Recently, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report on the prison crisis in Ecuador, in which it urged the government to regain internal control over prisons, provide decent conditions for prisoners and develop crime prevention policies that do not give priority to prison.
)At the end of 1280, there were more than 30 one thousand inmates and m 20 facilities, including prisons and social rehabilitation, with a capacity of 30 thousand, although overcrowding has reached 41% in prisons like Guayaquil, the most populated in the country, with 7.231 inmates, and the scenario of the bloodiest episodes of last year.
To solve the prison crisis , Guillermo Lasso’s government is hiring 1,400 new prison officers, granting around 5,000 pardons to prisoners convicted of minor offenses and developing the country’s first human rights policy for the prison population.