Ecuador prison riot leaves 20 dead, 5 seriously injured

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives left 20 people dead, Ecuador’s interior minister said Monday.

The official, Patricio Carrillo, said five of the dead had been mutilated, six hanged and one poisoned during the clash Sunday in Turi, about 310 kilometers (190 miles) south of the capital. At least five people had serious injuries.

Speaking to Radio Democracy, Carrillo linked the riot to a “criminal economy” with links to politics, but he did not expand on that.

What appeared to be gunfire and screaming could be heard on videos of the incident broadcast by local news media. Carrillo said on Sunday that about 1,000 police and military personnel worked to control the riot.

Amnesty International said last month that at least 316 prisoners died in confrontations in Ecuadorian prisons in 2020, with 119 of those dying in a September riot.

The government in the past has blamed confrontations on drug gangs linked to Mexican cartels.

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