10 May 2022

Another Ecuador prison clash leaves 44 inmates dead

10 May 2022

A clash between rival Ecuadorian gangs has killed 44 inmates, officials said, little more than a month after another prison riot resulted in 20 deaths.

Interior minister Patricio Carrillo said at a press conference that one group of inmates left their cells to attack another inside Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo, 45 miles west of Quito, the capital.

“It’s evident that those who lost their lives were executed by knives; most of the bodies had those characteristics,” he said, offering relatives help in transporting the bodies to their hometowns.

An ambulance leaves Bellavista prison (Dolores Ochoa/AP) (AP)

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

Authorities said 220 prisoners escaped during the violence, of which 112 had been recaptured.

The human rights group Amnesty International reported in March that at least 316 prisoners died in clashes in Ecuadorian prisons during 2020 — including 119 who died during one riot in September of that year.

A month after that report was published, a clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives left 20 people dead in Turi, about 190 miles south of the capital.

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