Santo Domingo de los Colorados: More than two hundred fugitive detainees were “recovered” by security forces on Tuesday, the day after a massive riot broke out in a jail in northern Ecuador, according to relatives of a “butcher” victim.
“So far, 200 detainees have been rescued,” said General Giovanni Pons, chief of police operations, thanks to patrols and checkpoints by security forces, police and the army.
At least 44 inmates were killed Monday in clashes between two rival gangs at the Belavista prison in the province of Santo Domingo de los Sachilas, about 80 kilometers west of Quito, according to the latest official report.
Ten more detainees and a policeman were injured, according to authorities.
A total of 220 detainees escaped as a result of the violence, according to police.
Two of the dead were Venezuelan nationals, and so far 41 bodies have been identified, according to General Ponce, who promised to return to prison “completely calm.”
Authorities are offering a reward of up to 3,000 for information leading to the capture of 20 or more missing prisoners.
President Guillermo Lasso said Tuesday that his government is waging an “unconventional war” against a “new enemy” in Ecuador, during a meeting with an Israeli security agency in Tel Aviv where he was on tour to provide Ecuador’s technology to combat violence. Spreading on the streets.
On Tuesday, in desperation and tears, dozens of parents and relatives of the detainees waited outside Belavista prison for news of their loved ones, AFP reported.
Troops were deployed in and around the installation. AFPO monitors uniformed men have observed about 80 detainees believed to have been recovered in recent hours.
“They don’t give us any information. They say the young men have fled for their lives, others are about to relocate,” said Lacey Zambrano, a 48-year-old housewife with no news of her brother.
Upon hearing of the clash, Mrs Zambrano said she and other family members rushed to the jail early in the morning.
“We heard prisoners calling for help and we didn’t let them die,” he said. “It’s a butcher shop inside.”
In prison, AFP reporters noted burns on the front and a hole in the wall that was used to escape.
Horrible videos are spreading on social media of piles of bloody, naked and mutilated corpses on the hemoglobin-covered floor of a common room. Even scattering corpses on the prison porch, next to the mattress, which the attackers probably tried to set on fire.
According to Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo, members of the Los Lobos (The Wolves) gang “attacked” members of the rival R7 group with knives.
Authorities also found rifles, pistols, grenades and ammunition.
In an effort to quell the violence, six of the gang’s leaders have been airlifted to two other high-security prisons elsewhere in the country.
With a capacity of 1,200 seats, Belavista Prison has a capacity of 1,700 inmates, reflecting prison crowds in all Ecuadorian prisons.
A spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said:
Clashes, often extremely violent, are repeated in Ecuadorian prisons, where nearly 400 prisoners have died since February 2021, including these latest clashes.
According to the government, rival gangs of drug traffickers are waging an all-out war for control of infiltrated or controlled, overcrowded prisons by Mexican cartels, a war that authorities have so far been unable to resist.
Human rights activist Luis Savedra told AFP that what happened at Bellavista Prison would be reflected in the neighborhoods (cities) where the gangs involved.
“The more violence there is in prisons, the more murders there will be in this neighborhood,” he estimated, as the amount of drugs seized in the country continues to rise (210 tons in 2021, already 70 tons in early 2022).
Located on the border between Colombia and Peru, the world’s largest cocaine producer, Ecuador serves as a departure port for illegal shipments to the United States and Europe.
In the first four months of 2022, the country recorded more than 1,200 homicides.