Blood Bath at Ecuador Prisons as Drug Gangs Battle for Control
QUITO, Ecuador – More than 60 inmates died on Tuesday in Ecuador’s worst prison riots in history, as rival gangs fought to control the country’s growing drug trade.
According to the police, violence erupted in a series of coordinated rebels in three large jails across the country on Tuesday morning. It was not until noon that the authorities regained control.
Videos recorded by prisoners and shared on social media showed the corpses of murders and severed hands and feet, a blow to a disused nation for a massacre. The frightening fantasy made clear how far Ecuador has come in a violent spiral of organized drug crime.
Once said in an interview, “Ricardo Camacho, who presides over Ricardo Caedio, said,” Such a thing was unimaginable in our country. “This is a tragedy, a true shock.”
The government said Tuesday’s attacks were part of a quarrel between rival drug gangs.
In December, the leader of a prominent local gang named Los Choneros was murdered in a shopping mall in the port city of Menta, which has become an important center of cocaine trafficking for Central America.
The fight went into prisons on Tuesday as members of Los Cheranos retaliated for the death of their leader, saying that the head of Ecuador’s prison system is General Edmundo Moncayo. Many of the victims said, they were not tied to organized crime but simply got caught up in the fight.
“Two armed groups tried to seize the criminal leadership of the detention centers,” General Moncayo said.
Although Ecuador itself does not grow large quantities of coca leaf, it is fostered by two of the world’s largest producers, Colombia and Peru.
Colombia’s cocaine traffickers and guerrillas have long used the territory of Ecuador for operations, and in recent years have begun to shift the increasing share of exports to neighboring countries, as Colombian authorities control ports and airports Extended.
Ecuador’s congested prisons have become increasingly violent in the last three years, as drug gangs have gained effective control.
Violence worsened after being jailed under austerity program adopted by Ecuador’s financially struggling government, said Daniel Ona, who studies human rights abuses in Ecuador’s prisons.
“It’s a multifaceted problem,” Ms. Ona said, noting that now there is “less money for psychology, sports, culture, social work – all these factors that prevent a proper social rehabilitation.”
According to police, five inmates died in the jail in December among members of a local drug gang. In 2019, two dozen Ecuadorian prisoners died in a series, two victims burnt alive.
Jose Maria Leon Cabrera Reported from Quito, and Anatoly Kurmanev Caracas, from Venezuela.