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Monday, September 20, 2021

Ecuador Prison Riots Leave 22 Dead

Ecuador’s SNAI prison authority has said on Wednesday that at least  22 inmates have been killed and 57 wounded during riots at southern Guayas and Cotopaxi province.

Government minister Alexandra Vela said fourteen inmates died in Cotopaxi prison and five police officers were wounded. He added that in Guayas, there were eight prisoner deaths and three wounded police officers.

President Guillermo Lasso issued the order “to mobilize all necessary human and economic resources to re-establish order” in Ecuador’s prisons. He declared a state of emergency in Ecuador’s jail system.

Special police units have been deployed to Ecuador’s two of the largest penitentiaries to control the violence.

Prison authorities earlier suspended all activities “that could put the penitentiary population and administrative personnel at risk.”

Outside visits were canceled at some prisons.

The same two penitentiaries have caused the wave of riots that broke out between rival gangs vying for control in February killing 79 inmates in a single day.

Ecuadorian officials have for years sought to reduce violence at the country’s overcrowded prisons, home to some 38,000 inmates.

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