ECUADOR: At least 15 inmates have been killed and many injured in the latest riot to hit Ecuador’s troubled prison system.
Monday’s riot at Latacunga’s Cotopaxi No. 1 prison left “15 dead and 20 injured,” said a spokesman for SNAI, the agency that manages Ecuador’s prisons.
Prison violence is attributed by Republican President Guillermo Lasso‘s administration to gang wars for territory and drug routes.
Officials stated that authorities are seeking to identify the remains, and Oswaldo Coronel, the governor of the province of Cotopaxi, which encompasses Latacunga, assured reporters that security had been restored.
The governor reported, “At the moment, according to the forensic information from the national police, 15 people have died (and) 21 people have been injured, of which 14 have already been evacuated to hospitals in the city of Latacunga.”
Inmates across Ecuador’s jails were killed in riots last year, which claimed 316 lives.
Just two months after unrest at the same facility claimed the lives of 43 inmates in May, 13 detainees were killed in a Santa Domingo jail in July.
As per the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the state’s neglect of the prison system, the lack of a clear policy, and the deplorable living conditions for prisoners all contribute to its problems.
According to official statistics, around 33,500 inmates are residing in the nation’s jails, 11.3% more than they can hold.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said Ecuador has no comprehensive policy for its prison system and prisoners endure overcrowded and dangerous conditions.
The families believe the number of those who died in the prison riots is much higher and are calling for reform of the system. Together, they founded the Families Committee for Justice in Prisons to demand that the state be held accountable for decades of negligence.
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