Ecuador: violent gang war kills 68 inmates in Guayaquil prison

the essential New clashes between gangs of prisoners, with scenes of great “savagery”, have at least 68 died in a prison in Guayaquil, in southwest Ecuador, already the scene at the end of September of one of the worst massacres of detainees in Latin America.

Violence between detainees began this Friday 12 November evening in the large penitentiary center of Guayaquil, said during a press conference on Saturday the chief of police, Tannya Varela.

These clashes have “until now 65 prisoners killed and twelve wounded”, according to the unit in charge of recovering the bodies. “I am almost certain that there are no more (dead) prisoners in cell block 2, because the police have already taken control of it,” she said.

“These events are the result of a territorial dispute between criminal gangs inside the penitentiary,” added the boss of the police. “What happened yesterday in a more violent way than usual started around 15 h 00, when, following an alert, the national police implemented the protocols to contain the violence inside the penitentiary center “she explained.

” Help us! ”

The intervention of the police to try to restore order in the prison “saved lives”, assured Pablo Arosemena, governor of the province of Guayas (whose capital is Guayaquil). The governor blasted “the level of savagery” of the attackers “who wanted to enter block 2”.

Images broadcast on the networks, the authenticity of which has not been confirmed from an independent source, showed inmates, in the middle of the night in a courtyard inside the prison, beating sticks on a pile of bodies piled up, inanimate and in the process of being consumed in flames.

Warning: the images below are violent and may offend the most sensitive people.

“We are locked in our pavilion. They want to kill us all,” called for help, in another video, a prisoner of the block attacked. “Please share this video. Look there is a drone (in the sky). Please help us!” The inmate implored, with repeated detonations in the background.

On 28 September, 79 people died under the same circumstances in this same Guayas 1 prison, the biggest massacre in Ecuador’s prison history and one of the worst in Latin America.

Some detainees had been dismembered, beheaded, or burned in violent clashes between gangs linked to drug trafficking and Mexican cartels.

After the killing, a dramatic worsening of the country’s long prison crisis, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso proclaimed a “state of emergency” in the 60 Ecuadorian prisons, notably with the deployment of significant military reinforcements.

These prisons can accommodate 28. 00 people but are occupied by 39. 000 detained, an overpopulation of 30%. Weapons of all kinds, drugs and cell phones circulate there in large numbers. They are the scene of a bloody rivalry between in particular the formidable Mexican cartels of Sinaloa and Jalisco Nueva Generacion.

Ecuador faces an increase in drug-related crime, with nearly 1900 violent deaths since the start of the year, particularly in Guayaquil, a port city and economic center of the country.

308 deaths due to riots in Ecuadorian prisons in less than a year

In the huge prison on the outskirts of the city, which houses 8. 500 detainees and whose overcrowding has reached 39% here according to official figures, the violence has not stopped since, despite the multiple announcements and the incessant communication from the government on this theme of the fight against insecurity.

After the September incidents, 12 other detainees were killed in various incidents. With another Friday night massacre, riots in Ecuadorian prisons have left more than 308 dead since the start of the year. In February, 79 inmates died in simultaneous riots in four prisons.

Early Saturday morning, as was the case during the massacre of 19, families of detainees were gathered in front of the Guayaquil penitentiary. , trying to hear from their loved ones or screaming in despair at the news of the death of one of theirs.

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