Crime & Justice

At least 15 dead, 21 injured after new brawl in Ecuador prison

Quito, Oct 3 (EFE).- At least 15 inmates died and another 21 were injured Monday following a new brawl in the Cotopaxi Number 1 prison, near the city of Latacunga, in Ecuador.

Ecuador’s prison authorities, which initially reported six injuries, raised the number of victims after the first actions carried out after regaining control of the prison.

Jorge Flores, deputy director of the prison authority, said in media statements that the incidents began after inmates of the Latacunga prison participated in the census carried out by his institution this Monday to collect data on the country’s penitentiary population.

Authorities said units from the police, health ministry, fire department, the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute and support teams from the armed forces participated in the emergency.

After reporting the alert, authorities coordinated with police to activate “all security protocols, in order to protect (protect) the security of the prison center.”

Given the incidents recorded among the inmates, tactical police teams entered the penitentiary facilities to try to regain full control of the prison, while military teams guarded the surroundings.

According to images of people traveling along a road near the prison, several inmates took refuge on the roofs of the building to try to avoid the problems recorded inside.

On Sep. 20, Ecuadorian police reported the arrest of three agents of that institution for being involved in the crime of ammunition trafficking, when they allegedly tried to enter almost 500 bullets into the Cotopaxi prison.

Ecuador has 36 prisons that house more than 32,000 inmates, and in some of them more than 400 inmates have been murdered since 2020 in different clashes between rival criminal gangs that dispute internal control of the prison centers.

Police searches after the confrontations have found different types of firearms, including rifles, as well as knives and large amounts of bullets.

With the victims registered Monday, the number of prisoners who have died in Ecuadorian prisons since the beginning of 2022 is close to 100, mainly in four massacres, two of which occurred in the Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas prison, another in a Cuenca prison and now he is in the Latacunga prison. EFE


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