QUITO, Ecuador: Sixty-two inmates have died in riots in prisons in three cities in Ecuador following fighting between rival gangs and an escape attempt, authorities said on Tuesday.
Prisons director Edmundo Moncayo told a press conference that 800 police stations had helped regain control of the facilities. Hundreds of officers from tactical units had been deployed since the clashes erupted on Monday evening.
Moncayo said two groups were trying to gain criminal leadership in detention centers and the clashes were precipitated by a police search for weapons on Monday.
Moncayo said 33 died in Cuenca prison in southern Ecuador, 21 in the city of Guayaquil on the Pacific coast and eight in the central city of Latacunga.
Moncayo said nearly 70% of the country’s prison population live in the centers where the unrest took place.
Government Minister Patricio Pazmio sent a tweet accusing the concerted action of criminal organizations of generating violence in the country’s prisons ”, but added:“ We are managing actions to regain control.
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