Dozens dead in latest Ecuador prison riot

·1-min read

A clash between rival Ecuadorian gangs killed 44 inmates, little more than a month after another prison riot resulted in 20 deaths.

Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo says one group of inmates left their cells to attack another inside the Bellavista lock-up in Santo Domingo, west of the capital Quito.

"It's evident that those who lost their lives were executed by knives. Most of the bodies had those characteristics," he said on Monday, and offered relatives help in transporting the bodies to their home towns.

The minister said firearms, explosives and other weapons were found after police assault teams helped retake control of the prison.

Authorities said 220 prisoners escaped during the violence, of which 112 had been recaptured. Gang leaders operating inside the prison were transferred to other jails.

Human rights group Amnesty International reported in March that at least 316 prisoners died in clashes in Ecuadorian prisons during 2020, including 119 who died during one riot in September of that year.

A month after that report was published, a clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives left 20 people dead in Turi, south of the capital.

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