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The latest violence comes months after at least 79 inmates were killed in the country’s worst prison riots.
At least 18 inmates died and several police officers were injured in rioting in two of Ecuador’s largest prisons, the Andean country’s SNAI prison authority said late Wednesday, marking the second major deadly wave of prison violence this year.
Special police units were deployed to prisons in southern Guayas Province, home to the largest city of Guayaquil, and Cotopaxi Province, south of the capital Quito, to quell the violence.
On Thursday, Ecuadorian police wrote on Twitter that 45 inmates were captured trying to escape from Cotopaxi Prison, where 10 inmates died and 35 were injured, according to SNAI. Eight inmates died in Guayas prison, according to SNAI.
At least 79 prisoners in February died in three prisons – including the centers in Guayas and Cotopaxi – in clashes between rival gangs.
At least five police officers were injured in the riots in Cotopaxi, the newspaper El Comercio reports.
Policia Ecuador tweeted images of the inmates being able to leave the prison and reach a vacant lot before being caught by police and military personnel.
📍 So far 45 people have been recaptured after trying to escape from the #CPLCotopaxi No. 1.
👮🏻♂️We keep informing pic.twitter.com/ozQ8ljemeS
– Ecuador Police (@PoliciaEcuador) July 22, 2021
Translation: TO THE MOMENT 45 people have been recaptured after trying to escape from the #CPLCotopaxi No. 1. We will continue to inform.
Ecuadorian officials have spent years trying to reduce violence in the country’s overcrowded prisons, which are home to some 38,000 inmates.
The country’s prison system was declared a state of emergency by then-President Lenin Moreno in 2019 following a spate of incidents that left 24 people dead.
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