The most recent violent incident occurred in the country’s worst prison riot, and at least 79 prisoners died a few months later.
The Andean National SNAI Prison Authority said on Wednesday night that at least 18 prisoners were killed and several policemen were injured when riots broke out in the two largest prisons in Ecuador. This is the second major deadly wave of prison violence this year.
Special police forces deployed to prisons in southern Guayas province (where Guayaquil is the largest city) and prisons in Cotopaxi province south of the capital Quito to quell the violence.
On Thursday, the Ecuadorian police wrote on Twitter that 45 prisoners were captured while trying to escape from Cotopaxi prison, where SNAI said 10 prisoners died and 35 were injured. According to SNAI, eight prisoners died in Guayas prison.
In February, there were at least 79 prisoners died In three prisons-including the centers of Guayas and Cotopaxi-there were clashes between rival gangs.
According to El Comercio, at least 5 police officers were injured in the Cotopaxi riots.
Policia Ecuador tweeted pictures of prisoners who were able to leave the prison and reach the open space before being caught by police and military personnel.
📍 So far, 45 people are trying to escape #CPLCotopaxi number 1.
👮🏻♂️We continue to notify pic.twitter.com/ozQ8ljemeS
-Ecuadorian Police (@PoliciaEcuador) July 22, 2021
Translation: Currently, 45 people have been re-captured after trying to escape #CPLCotopaxi No. 1. We will continue to inform.
Ecuadorian officials have been trying for years to reduce violence in the country’s overcrowded prisons, where approximately 38,000 prisoners are held.
In 2019, after a wave of incidents resulted in 24 deaths, the country’s prison system was declared a state of emergency by then President Lenin Moreno.