In Ecuador, nearly a hundred prison guards detained after the death of several prisoners

In the aftermath of a clash between inmates that left six dead, at least 90 prison guards were taken hostage on Monday, July 24, in five prisons in different provinces in Ecuador, the prison administration (SNAI) announced. This organization added that the guards were in good health.

Detainees from 13 prisons in this country confronted with drug trafficking are also participating – without specifying the reasons – in a hunger strike on Monday, against 10 the day before, out of the 36 in Ecuador, according to the same source.

This movement began after the announcement of a new clash between inmates of rival gangs in the Guayaquil prison known as Guayas 1, where six prisoners died on Sunday and eleven others were injured. Guayaquil is one of the cities most affected in the country by violence and drug trafficking.

Prisons, places of operations for criminal gangs

Ecuadorian penitentiaries have become a place of operations for criminal gangs, which compete for the drug market. A dozen such clashes have taken place since February 2021, killing more than 420 people: dozens of people have been burned alive or have succumbed to mutilation.

The SNAI had ordered on Sunday, before the clash broke out, to reinforce security in all these establishments with the help of the police and the army.

According to a recent census, 31,321 people, including 3,245 foreigners, are detained in Ecuador’s prisons, which have a capacity of 30,000 places. The majority of prisoners are serving time for drug trafficking; the country is one of the world’s leading producers of cocaine, along with Colombia and Peru.

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The World with AFP

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