Great Most of 220 prisoners who escaped from a prison in central Ecuador have been recapturedAccording to disgruntled relatives of the victims, police made the announcement on Tuesday, a day after a similarly fatal brawl of a “massacre”.
“The total was 220 civilians who fled yesterday and at present 200 have been apprehended again“Because of police and military patrols and checkpoints, the head of operations for the Ecuadorian police, General Giovanni Ponce, told the press.
Officials initially said that 112 prisoners were “recaptured” and another 108 were still on the run.
According to photos released by police on Twitter, AFP saw uniformed officers grouping around 80 prisoners, who were probably taken back, while others were carried by policemen in riot gear with their hands behind their necks.
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According to the latest balance, the escape occurred during bloody fighting between rival gangs at the Belavista prison in the city of Santo Domingo (about 80 km from Quito), in which 44 prisoners were killed.
Besides a policeman, ten other prisoners were injured.
Two of the dead are from Venezuela And so far 41 bodies have been identified, said the police chief, who described a situation of “complete peace” in the prison.
The government will offer a reward of up to $3,000 to anyone providing information about the 20 prisoners who are living at large.
Meanwhile, uncertainty continued for dozens of disgruntled family members, mostly women, who thronged the prison gates waiting for official information about their loved ones.
AFP found that soldiers armed with shotguns guarded the surrounding areas.
“They don’t give us any information. They say the young man fled to save his life,” Lacey Zambrano, awaiting news from her brother, told AFP.
“There are many mothers who have not yet informed him of their dead whether they are alive or not,” said the 48-year-old woman.
In a bloody confrontation, the Los Lobos gang attacked another rival, “R7”, killing their members with knives inside their cells.
After regaining control of the prison, the officers found rifles, pistols, grenades and ammunition.
The incident, just a month after another massacre, which killed 20 prisoners, once again highlighted the crisis of prison violence in Ecuador, which the government blames on fighting between gangs who are working inside prisons and inside prisons. Controversy over distributing drugs outside.
Nearly 400 prisoners have already been killed in six massacres in Ecuadorian prisons since February 2021.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reiterated its “deep alarm” and underlined the “urgent need for comprehensive reform of Ecuador’s criminal justice system,” according to her spokeswoman, Liz Throsel.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an OAS body, condemned the violence and called for a “quick, serious and impartial” investigation.
As soon as he learned of the confrontation, Zambrano said that he had gone to the prison at dawn and heard that “prisoners were asking for help from inside, don’t let them die.”
“It’s a butcher shop inside,” he told AFP.
To try to stop the violence, the six gang leaders were transferred from Bellavista to two maximum security prisons.
President Guillermo Lasso’s government The U.S. had previously decided to transfer dangerous prisoners, including pardons, allocation of budgets to prisons, and the creation of a peace commission, to ease widespread overcrowding.
But these measures are clearly insufficient to stop the prison homicide, which is one of the worst in Latin America.
According to officials, Monday’s conflict was caused by one of the R7 group leaders’ transfer to Bellavista by court order.
Government officials criticized the decision, which was made without “supporting reports” from prison services, said their boss, Pablo Ramírez.
Similarly, given the violence on the country’s streets due to drug trafficking, the government declared a state of emergency in three western provinces—Guas, Manabi and Esmeraldas—by the end of June.
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Outside prisons, the number of deaths in the first four months of the year reached 1,255—among them beheaded and mutilated—that was half the number of deaths recorded throughout 2021.
“What happened in Santo Domingo is visible in neighborhoods where fighting gangs operate,” human rights activist Luis Saavedra told AFP.
“Then, the more violence there is in the prison, the greater the number of hitmen in the neighborhood,” he said.