In Ecuador, new violence in a prison kills at least 44 inmates

A new bloody incident hit a prison in Ecuador on Monday, May 9, with violence between rival gangs killing 44 inmates, according to the latest report from the Ministry of the Interior headed by Patricio Carrillo, who also reported ten others. injured. An earlier death toll was 43.

The violence took place in the Bellavista prison in the province of Santo Domingo de los Chachilas, about 80 kilometers west of Quito, in the north of the country. The French news agency (AFP) indicated that ambulances and relatives of detainees gathered around the correctional center immediately took care of the injured in the face in an attempt to obtain information. The authorities announced that they had regained control of the institution.

Read also Prison Crisis in Ecuador: Resignations of Heads of Military and Prisons

“Great Cruelty”

According to the Ecuadorean police chief, ‘The attackers acted very harshly’While violence followed a mass flight. While authorities have not provided any figures on the total number of fugitives, it is likely 112 of them “restore”but 108 were still “Missing” Monday afternoon, according to police chief General Fausto Salinas. Two hundred and fifty police, 200 soldiers and additional reinforcements on the way., is detailed. With a capacity of 1,200 places, Bellavista Prison currently holds 1,700 prisoners.

“This is the unfortunate outcome of gang violence”For his part, on Twitter, President Guillermo Laso expressed his regret, on a tour of Israel. address him “Sincere condolences to the families” deceased persons.

The minister said that clashes between members of two rival gangs, the “Wolves” and the “R7”, broke out around 3 am, which led to the outbreak of war. Security protocols to contain “Troubles” in prison. “The majority, if not nearly 100%, of the victims were killed with knives, not firearms.”And ‘I left their mutilated corpses’.

“They were executed in the common rooms, in the cells”Then ‘There was a huge escape attempt’ Using firearms, Mr. Carrillo admitted.

“Those who are allowed to move between the different blocks inside the prison are likely to be behind this massacre.”referring to a A scenario similar to what happened on April 28 at Al-Turi prison, where the members of the ‘Wolves’ have already encountered ‘R7’.. There died about twenty prisoners, and again most of them were mutilated with knives.

Hundreds of dead over a year ago

Clashes, often extremely violent, are frequent in Ecuadorean prisons, where nearly 350 inmates have died since February 2021.

According to the government, rival gangs of drug smugglers, infiltrated or under the control of Mexican gangs, are waging an all-out war to control overcrowded prisons, a war the authorities have hitherto been powerless to stop.

Read also: To unlock its prisons, Ecuador has chosen to pardon 5,000 detainees

For Daniel Bunton, Dean of the School of Security and Defense at the Institute for Advanced National Studies, Transport Policy Among the most dangerous detainees, who have been released from large prisons, will be the cause of the outbreak of violence in correctional institutions until then ‘relatively quiet’which may lead to ‘Worrying generalization of the problem’. The escape of many prisoners is evidence of this From a maximum security prisonAnd therefore “too weak”.

In 2021, Ecuador seized 210 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine. For 2022, seizures so far have amounted to about 70 tons. Bordered by Colombia and Peru, the world’s largest cocaine producers, Ecuador serves as a staging port for illicit shipments, mainly to the United States and Europe.

Le Monde with The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

Leave a Comment