12 dead as riots erupt in Ecuadorian prison

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CUENCA, 4 April: A total of 12 inmates within the walls of Turi prison were killed during a violent riot with another 10 injured in the early hours of Sunday. Located in the city of Cuenca, the prison is said to be one of the largest correctional complexes in Ecuador.

800 members of the National Police and the Armed Forces were deployed to the prison in hopes of eradicating the violence from further escalation.

In a press conference after the incident, Interior Minister, Patricio Carrilo said, “The motivation (of the riot) is because there is an organisation that wants to have absolute power in the centre and there are some cells that have rebelled against them.”

Authorities indicated that during the disturbances, 90 prisoners were evacuated, including 10 who had been injured.

Family members of inmates who perished during the riot were notified and called upon to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

“Unfortunately, prisons have for a long time become a permanent threat, but today the will exists and we are going to take the necessary actions,” said Carrillo, adding that measures were being taken to prevent potential riots in other prisons in Ecuador.

Prison riots have become more prevalent in South American countries due to the presence of gang activity within prison walls.

Last year, Ecuador was the epicentre for one of the continent’s deadliest prison riots in September 2021 leaving 116 prisoners dead and another 80 injured. -TVS

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