Ecuadorian prison riot kills 58

A riot left 58 dead in a prison in Guayaquil in Ecuador, which houses 8,500 inmates and overcrowded by 60% according to official figures. General Tannya Varela also announced at a press conference that the clashes between prisoners left 12 people injured. The intervention of the police to try to restore order in the prison “saved lives”, declared Pablo Arosemena, governor of the province of Guayas (whose capital is Guayaquil).

In this prison located in the southwest of the country, the violence has not stopped since September 28. That day, it had already been the scene of one of the worst prison massacres in Latin America and the largest massacre in Ecuador’s prison history: 119 prisoners had been killed during these clashes between gangs. Some detainees had been dismembered or burned in violent clashes between gangs linked to drug trafficking and Mexican cartels.

30% prison overcrowding

After the September incidents, 15 more detainees were killed, bringing the total to 134. Riots in Ecuadorian prisons have left more than 250 dead since the start of the year. In February, 79 inmates died in simultaneous riots in four prisons.

The country’s 65 prisons can accommodate 30,000 people but are occupied by 39,000 inmates, an overcrowding of 30%.

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