Monday, May 09, 2022 | 5:29 p.m.
A riot in a prison in central Ecuador left at least 43 prisoners dead, the Prosecutor’s Office reported Monday, in a new act of prison violence in the country plagued by the unchecked increase in drug trafficking and crime.
“So far there are 43 deceased inmates,” the Prosecutor’s Office said on Twitter, noting that the information is “in development.” Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said at a press conference that the death toll was 41.
Carrillo said that those deprived of liberty from one organization came out of their cells and attacked those from another criminal group inside the detention center. “They never want to rehabilitate themselves, and they have shown it with facts, it is the facts that define them. What was experienced in the center of the city of Santo Domingo was a cruelty of this criminal organization, “said the official.
He stressed that at first glance “it can be seen that those who lost their lives were executed with a knife, most of the bodies have these characteristics” and offered government help to the relatives to move the bodies to their places of origin.
He added that firearms, grenades and other materials have been found in the hands of the inmates of the Bellavista prison. That prison is located in the city of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, 70 kilometers southwest of Quito.
The police confirmed that after the intervention of tactical and assault groups, the detention center was once again under the control of the authorities, especially the maximum security pavilion, where the events occurred.
Videos that circulated on social networks showed the prison, still in the dark, and screams and shots coming from inside.
General Fausto Salinas, who will be sworn in as police commander in the next few hours, told the Teleamazonas television station that “there are 40 people recaptured, prisoners who tried to escape.”
In recent years, Ecuador’s prisons have become the scene of violent attacks between inmates, mainly due to disputes between gangs related to drug trafficking and drug export routes allegedly linked to Mexican cartels. The last of these riots, which left 20 dead, was recorded in early April.