February 23rd local time, Ecuadorian officials said that riots in three prisons in different locations in the country since the 22nd have killed 75 people and injured many others.
According to Al Jazeera on the 23rd, the three prisons where the riots occurred were located in the southern city of Cuenca, the western port city of Guayaquil and the central city of Latacunga. Local media reported that there were shootings and knife attacks in the prison.
Edmondo Monca, director of Ecuador’s national prison, pointed out in an interview that the riot was caused by two criminal groups “competing for the position of boss” and that the riot is now under control with the help of 800 policemen.
The country’s President, Lenin Moreno, has declared a state of emergency in the national prison system and asked Patricio Pasminho, the Minister of Government (Internal Affairs) to coordinate with the police on this matter.
Moreno tweeted that criminal groups “have carried out violence at the same time in several prisons in the country”.
According to the report, prison riots and disputes between rival gangs are not uncommon in Ecuador.
Last December, there was a prison riot in Latacunga, which killed five prisoners.