at least 43 dead, more than a hundred detainees on the run

At least 43 prisoners died in clashes between rival gangs on Monday at a prison in Ecuador. The violence took place in Bellavista prison, in the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, about 80 km west of Quito.

Clashes between members of two rival gangs erupted in the early morning, triggering “security protocols” to contain “disorders” in the prison.

More than a hundred detainees were able to escape thanks to this violence, said the Ecuadorian police chief.

Recurring clashes

Clashes, often extremely violent, are recurrent in Ecuadorian prisons, where nearly 350 inmates have died since February 2021.
The last episode took place in early April in a prison in the south of the country, where 20 prisoners were killed and some bodies were mutilated.

According to the government, rival gangs of drug traffickers, infiltrated or controlled by Mexican cartels, are waging an all-out war for control of overcrowded prisons, a war that authorities have so far been powerless to stem.

In 2021, Ecuador seized a record 210 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine. For 2022, seizures to date have reached around 70 tons.
Bordered by Colombia and Peru, the world’s largest cocaine producers, Ecuador serves as a port of departure for illicit shipments, mainly to the United States and Europe.

Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by

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