By Bruno Almeida on May 10, 2022 at 10:50 am | Updated May 10, 2022 at 10:50 am
World – At least 44 inmates died during a prison riot in central Ecuador, a country affected by the vertiginous increase in drug trafficking and crime. There are more than one hundred fugitives, according to information released by international agencies in the early evening of this Monday (09). Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo announced that “all the pavilions are under the control” of the authorities of the Bellavista penitentiary, in Santo Domingo los Tsáchilas (Colorados, 80 km from Quito).
Authorities say gang clashes are behind the violence in Bellavista. The Los Lobos group “attacked and eliminated 41 people from another organization,” Carrillo said, referring to the faction known as R7. The wounded were taken to hospitals, while relatives crowded around the penitentiary.
The massacre is the biggest this year, surpassing the previous one, which took place a month ago in the prison in the Andean city of Cuenca, where 20 prisoners died and at least 10 others were injured. The Cuenca massacre also involved the Los Lobos and R7 gangs.
Despite the multiple measures adopted – which include allocating funds, transferring the most dangerous prisoners to a specific center and creating a pacification commission – the government of President Guillermo Lasso has not been able to contain the most serious prison rebellions in Latin America.
Since February 2021, 350 inmates have died brutally in Ecuadorian prisons, amid violence attributed by the government to the confrontation between criminal groups linked to drug trafficking.