At least six prisoners have been killed in fresh fighting at an Ecuadorian prison. The BBC reports that riots broke out in the Literal Penitentiary in Guayaquil on Friday evening. Guns and explosives were found inside the jail, police said.
Earlier in September, hundreds of prisoners were killed in clashes between rival factions in the country’s prisons. About 300 prisoners have died in the country’s prisons so far this year. Never before in the history of Ecuador have so many prisoners been killed in prison violence.
At that moment, the inmates of one branch of the prison crawled through a hole and entered another. There was an attack on the rival gang. Hundreds of officers and troops were deployed to regain control of the complex.
25 people were injured in the latest fighting. Three people were shot dead after clashes there earlier this month.
In an interview with the BBC, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said his government would establish control over not only prisons but also Ecuador’s drug trafficking zone.
Guillermo spoke of the previous government’s failure to take appropriate action on drug trafficking. He said it would take more than a decade to tackle the growing drug use in the country. He added that Ecuador would need international support from neighboring Colombia, the United States and the EU to strengthen its armed forces and police in the face of the growing influence of crime.
Officials say Ecuador’s prisons currently hold more than 9,000 inmates. Although the literal penitentiary has a capacity of 5,300, there are 6,500 inmates.
Guayaquil is the main port city of Ecuador. The port is used as a major hub for drug smuggling from South America to North America, especially in the United States.