QUITO ( Associated Press) — At least two prisoners died and several were injured Monday in a prison riot in a city in the interior of Ecuador where there was an attempted escape, it was officially reported.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo told reporters that “five (injured) people who are being treated at the health clinic have been evacuated and two people have been reported dead and have been admitted to the Department of Forensic Medicine.”
He added that “we are controlling to contain and that violence does not break out in the rest of the (penitentiary) centers.”
On its Twitter account, the Ministry of the Interior had published earlier that the riot had been active since “early today at the Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas Social Rehabilitation Center.”
The police have arrived at the scene to seek control of that prison, located 70 kilometers southwest of the capital.
Videos circulating on social networks show the prison, still in the dark, and screams and shots can be heard.
General Fausto Salinas, who will be sworn in as commanding general of the police in the next few hours, told the Teleamazonas television station that “there are 40 people recaptured, prisoners who tried to escape, we are bringing together all the tactical teams… to intervene in immediately and restore order in that center.”
He stressed that “there are shots, violence has been generated.” He explained that a prisoner, leader of a mafia gang who was transferred from another prison, was the cause of the revolt.
In recent years, Ecuador’s prisons have become the scene of violent attacks between inmates, mainly due to disputes between gangs related to drug trafficking and drug export routes allegedly linked to Mexican cartels. The last of these riots, which left 20 dead, was recorded in early April.
In March Amnesty International, in its annual report, assured that at least 316 prisoners died as a result of clashes in Ecuadorian prisons during 2020, the most serious occurring in September with a balance of 119 deaths. The massacres were the product of clashes between rival drug gangs.