Ecuador: heavy toll after another clash between rival gangs in a prison

Ecuador has been shaken for several months by a gang war which destabilizes the prisons. On Wednesday September 29, after new clashes that left at least 116 dead in a penitentiary, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency throughout the prison system.

Ecuador experienced, Wednesday, September 29, the worst prison massacre in its history. New clashes between rival gangs broke out at Guayas prison in Guayaquil in the southwest of the country, killing at least 116 people, some by beheading. “On entering the police were attacked with different weapons, pistols, revolvers, rifles, but they acted professionally, without firing. We worked with non-lethal weapons, rubber bullets, to avoid major damage “General Fausto Buenano, commander of the Ecuadorian national police, told reporters.

The prison crisis has been going on for several months in Ecuador, a consequence of the murderous rivalry between drug trafficking gangs. Two of the gangs that support these cartels have around 20,000 members nationwide. The government has declared a state of emergency in the penitentiary system throughout the country. Violence has become almost permanent in the country’s prisons, used by Mexican cartels as a staging area for shipping cocaine. Some $ 3.5 billion a year is laundered in Ecuador, and public institutions are also plagued by corruption.

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