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Thirteen dead following prison riot in Ecuador

Thirteen prisoners were killed at a prison in the Ecuadorian city of Santo Domingo on Monday, Ecuador’s prison agency said, the latest incident of deadly jail violence in the Andean country.

The prison system reported around 6 p.m. that the Armed Forces and the National Police had retaken control of the prison, with no casualties among the security forces.

The President Guillermo Lasso attributes prison violence to fights between gangs over control of territory and drug trafficking routes.

A relative of an inmate commented, “I ask myself, how did the weapons get into the prison? The cops are corrupt. You don’t have a family. You are not hurt by what we are going through. Doesn’t it hurt you?”

The Ecuadorian Interior Minister, Patricio Carillo stated: “Thirteen bodies have been recovered so far. We are inspecting the prison. It is likely that in the cell-by-cell search, more bodies will appear, but we don’t know for sure. What is certain is that thirteen bodies have been found and transferred to the forensic medicine department.”

Last year, 316 prisoners died during riots in various prisons across Ecuador. The police and the armed forces were retaking control of the penitentiary, the SNAI prisons agency said on Twitter. It earlier called the incident a “dispute”.

The country’s prisons house about 33,900 people and are 12.5 percent beyond maximum capacity, according to official figures.

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