Ecuador has experienced eight prison riots since February 2021 that killed nearly 400 inmates.
Ten inmates were killed in a riot at a prison in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, which officials say occurred as a result of the government’s decision to place three mob bosses in a high-security facility.
Prison riot and murders, final challenge for the nation’s prison systemwhich some 400 inmates killed in gang-related violence since last year, prison officials said.
The most recent unrest erupted at Al Inca prison on Friday, shortly after the government announced it was moving prisoners it suspected to be the mastermind behind it. previous prison ailments this and a maximum security prison.
One of the displaced detainees, Jonathan Bermudez, the leader of the Los Lobos gang, was responsible for previous murders at El Inca, according to a statement from the presidential office.
Prison officials said “members of this crime syndicate (Los Lobos) engaged in violent retaliation” because Bermudez was moved to another prison.
Police commander Victor Herrera told reporters that the prison was secured with tight security measures while forensic personnel exhumed the bodies of those killed. Herrera said the cause of death “appeared to be suffocation.”
Since February 2021, Ecuador suffered eight prison massacres which left about 400 dead; most of the victims were beheaded or burned.
The last gang-led prison riot was in Quito on November 8, in which five inmates were killed.
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said the country will not be afraid of gang leaders.
Speaking on Twitter about the transfer of gang leaders on Friday, Lasso said: “We told them we wouldn’t shake hands.”
Ads that don’t intimidate mafia drug traffickers can help you increase all the rigidity. pic.twitter.com/eHBcrvjdPU
– Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) 18 November 2022
Lasso also thanked law enforcement for keeping order in the prison and fighting what he described as “narco-terrorist leaders”.
Earlier this month, the Lasso government relocated nearly 2,400 inmates and sparked an uprising of gang members who opened fire in the streets and planted petrol and bomb-laden vehicles in police stations.
Eight people, including five policemen, were killed in the attacks in the port city of Guayaquil.
Lasso responded to these attacks by declaring a state of emergency and a nighttime curfew in the states of Guayas, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas. It has deployed troops to all three states, which are home to a third of Ecuador’s 18 million population.
Ecuador, once a relatively peaceful neighbor of leading cocaine producers Colombia and Peru, has transformed from a drug transit route to a vital distribution center plagued by drug violence.
Authorities are throwing a wave of violent crime on rival gangs linked to Mexican cartels.
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