Conflicts & War

Death toll in latest Ecuador prison brawl rises to 16

Quito, Oct 4 (EFE).- The death toll of the Cotopaxi prison riot in the Andean center of Ecuador rose to 16 on Tuesday according to authorities.

So far “43 people injured and 16 deceased” have been recorded, of which 14 have been identified, the National Service for Comprehensive Attention to Adult Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI) said.

Relatives of inmates at Cotopaxi Prison Number 1, near the city of Latacunga, have demanded precise information from the authorities about the situations of their loved ones inside.

The families stationed themselves on the outskirts of the prison, from where they shouted the names of their relatives in order to receive information from inmates who had settled on the roofs of the prison.

The brawl began on Monday afternoon and by night the authorities reported at least 15 dead and 21 injured, but the incidents continued Tuesday morning.

Following the riots, the institutions of the penitentiary system “remain on site, carrying out the pertinent actions to restore order and security in the center,” SNAI said in a statement.

In addition, it indicated that the government’s Human Rights Secretariat has proceeded to provide “emotional support and psychological care” to the relatives of the victims of this new massacre, the eighth since 2020 when a crisis began in the system fueled by the rivalry between gang members, overcrowding and lack of budget, among other factors.

Ecuador has 36 prisons that house more than 32,000 inmates, and in some of them more than 450 prisoners have been murdered since 2020 in various clashes between rival gangs fighting for internal control of the prisons. EFE


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