Officials said gun and knife battles between rival gangs erupted on Monday night in three different prisons in the country.
Prisons in Ecuador were on high alert after more than 50 people were killed and dozens of others injured in three prison riots, police said on Tuesday.
According to authorities, riots erupted in prisons located in three cities Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga. The violence was caused by disputes between rival gangs inside the prisons, officials said. Local media reported that prisoners were killed using guns and knives.
Police General Commander Patricio Carrillo said on Twitter on Tuesday that additional security forces were despatched to the prison to regain control. Carrillo said the riots involved high-security prisoners.
“All the prisons at the moment have restriction and controls in place,” Carrillo wrote.
Ante los hechos suscitados el día de hoy en los CRS Guayas, Azuay y Cotopaxi @PoliciaEcuador se encuentra gestionando el control de los mismos. Al momento Criminalística reporta más de 50 PPL fallecidos.
Seguiremos informando… pic.twitter.com/OTbX3ziazU
— Policía Ecuador (@PoliciaEcuador) February 23, 2021
Translation: Given the events that occurred today in Guayas, Azuay and Cotopaxi @PoliciaEcuador is managing the control of them. At the moment there are reports of more than 50 dead. We will continue to inform …
The riots reportedly erupted on Monday night, after prisoners took prison guards hostage.
Local media reported that several ambulances were seen leaving the jails, and that as news of the riots was made public, dozens of prisoners’ relatives gathered outside the prisons to get more information on what was happening.
Images and videos circulating on social media showed inmates gathered on a prison rooftop with police officers on motorcycles and in patrol cars surrounding the prison.
In a tweet, Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno said gangs had carried out “simultaneous acts of violence in several prisons in the country,” and that in coordination with the Minister of Government, Patricio Pazmino Castillo, police were working to regain control of prisons.
Organizaciones criminales realizan acciones de violencia simultáneas en varios centros penitenciarios del país. La @PoliciaEcuador en coordinación con el Ministro de Gobierno, @ppazminoec, están actuando para retomar control de cárceles en Guayaquil, Cuenca y Latacunga. https://t.co/9gdGoWTQHr
— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) February 23, 2021
Translation: Criminal organizations carried out acts of simultaneous violence in several prisons in the country. The @PoliciaEcuador in coordination with the Minister of Government,@ppazminoec, are working to regain control of prisons in Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga.