The death toll from a prison riot in Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil rose to 116 Wednesday with more than 80 injured, officials said.
The Litoral prison has been scene to a major conflict due to a leadership struggle between rival gangs.
Prisons bureau director Bolivar Garzon said police took the incident under control at 2 a.m. local time (0700GMT), adding: "We are entering the pavilions where there were conflicts and discovering more bodies."
With the death toll feared to rise, Garzon said the police and prosecutor’s office are continuing their work to identify the bodies.
Ecuador is facing a great tragedy, he emphasized, adding that the conflict between organized crime groups and the internal power struggle has unfortunately reached this point.
Meanwhile, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency in the country’s prison system.
Ecuador’s defense minister will hold a news conference on the riot with the regional governor and other officials.
Soldiers took extensive security measures around the prison, officials added.
According to local media, the riot started in wards of members of the “Los Lobos” and "Tiguerones" gangs.
In July, Ecuador’s president declared a state of emergency in the country’s prisons after fighting between rival gangs left 22 inmates dead and dozens injured.
Around 38,000 detainees are currently serving jail terms at 60 facilities in Ecuador designed for 29,000 prisoners, which sometimes results in riots.
On Feb. 24, at least 80 prisoners died in riots that broke out simultaneously at facilities in three cities.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ekim 2021, 19:07