Ecuador prison riot death toll reaches to 116

A woman comforts a man outside the morgue while waiting for the bodies of inmates killed to be released. Credit: AP

More than 100 convicts were killed in the biggest prison uprising in Ecuador's history, according to authorities.

As the country's president announced a state of emergency in the prison system, officials believe at least five of the victims discovered in the Litoral Prison in Guayaquil had been beheaded.

The gang members were suspected to be involved in the violence, and it is unclear whether officials have restored control of the institution.

Images circulating on social media showed scores of bodies and situations that appeared to be battlefields in the prison's Pavilions 9 and 10.

Firearms, knives, and bombs were used in the battle. Bodies were discovered in the prison's pipelines, according to regional police head Fausto Buenao.

Relatives of detainees mourned outside the prison morgue, with some telling reporters of the brutality with which their loved ones were slaughtered, decapitated, and mutilated.

A total of 116 people have perished, with another 80 injured.

Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador's president, was obviously shocked by the bloodshed and declared during a press conference that what had transpired in the prison was "bad and sad."

“There has never been an incident similar or close to this one in the history of Ecuador,” said Ledy Ziga, former president of Ecuador's National Rehabilitation Council.

In 2016, Ziga, who was also the country's minister of justice, expressed sadness that no steps had been done to avert another massacre in the aftermath of deadly prison riots in February.

Officials had stated that the violence was caused by a feud between the “Los Lobos” and “Los Choneros” prison gangs.

Although a state of emergency allows the government to send police and military inside jails, a former director claims that inmates have authority "equal to or greater than the state itself."

Following multiple violent instances in which more than 100 convicts were slain, Ecuador's president declared another state of emergency in the prison system in July.

Those deaths took place across multiple prisons, rather than in a single facility as in Tuesday's massacre.

Previously, the bloodiest day was in February, when 79 detainees died in three prisons throughout the country in simultaneous disturbances.

On July, 22 more inmates died in the Litoral prison, while a penal center was targeted by drones in September, although no one was killed.

Publish : 2021-09-30 17:30:00

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