Another prison fight in Ecuador kills 43 inmates

A clash between rival Ecuadorian gangs left 43 inmates dead, officials said Monday, just over a month after another prison riot left 20 dead.

Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said in a press conference that a group of detainees left their cells to attack another inside the Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo, about 70 kilometers south of Quito, the capital.

“It is evident that those who lost their lives were executed with knives; most of the bodies had those characteristics, “she said, and offered relative help in transporting the bodies to their hometowns.

The minister said firearms, explosives and other weapons were found after police strike teams helped regain control of the prison.

General Fausto Salinas, the incoming police commander, told Teleamazonas television that 40 detainees had been recaptured during escape attempts.

Human rights group Amnesty International reported in March that at least 316 prisoners died in clashes in Ecuadorian prisons in 2020, including 119 killed in an uprising in September of that year.

A month after the publication of that report, a clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives killed 20 people in Turi, about 310 kilometers south of the capital.