NewsAt least 68 dead after gang fighting in prison

At least 68 dead after gang fighting in prison

Another massacre takes place in a detention center near Guayaquil. In September, 118 people died there in the power struggle of rival gangs.

Guayaquil – At least 68 prisoners were killed in renewed violent clashes in a prison in Ecuador.

In addition, at least 25 people were injured in the Guayas N1 detention center near the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil, the South American country’s prosecutor wrote on Twitter.

The situation in the prison was brought under control, as the government announced on Twitter late Saturday evening (local time). According to this, around 900 security guards were on duty.

Government spokesman Carlos Jijón said according to media reports that there were new attacks in the institution. The prisoners in one wing tried to break into another. Police officers came to the prison to protect the inmates’ lives. The background was power struggles of criminal gangs, reported the newspaper “El Comercio”, citing the officials. Accordingly, the prisoners used firearms and explosives. The paper said they blasted a hole in the wall to get into another part of the prison.

Guayas N1 is the prison where 118 people were killed in bloody gang fighting in September. It was the worst massacre in the Ecuadorian penal system to date. At that time, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency on penal systems across the country for 60 days.

On Saturday Lasso wrote on Twitter: “The first right we must guarantee is the right to life and freedom of citizens, which cannot be done if the security forces are unable to protect citizens.” He referred referring to the recent refusal by the Constitutional Court to allow military personnel in prisons despite the state of emergency.

In Ecuador, even before the gang fights in September, there were repeated violent clashes in prisons over the past few months. In July, for example, a total of 21 people died in riots in prisons in Cotopaxi and Guayaquil. In February, 79 people were killed in violent clashes between rival gangs in several prisons.

As elsewhere in Latin America, the prisons in Ecuador are overcrowded. Many prisons are controlled by gangs. Numerous imprisoned gang bosses control the business of their criminal organizations from prison. “The enemy is drug trafficking,” said Guayas Province Governor Pablo Arosemena. dpa

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