Ecuador on Wednesday raised the death toll from riots in four jails to 79, including 18 prisoners who were found dismembered at one site, one of the bloodiest outbreaks of prison violence in the country’s history.
But even as authorities said they had regained control following the initial riots, the head of Ecuador’s national police wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night that a new mutiny in Guayaquil’s prison was under way.
Police and troops were stationed at detention centres in the cities of Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga, where gangs on Tuesday fought one another with handmade weapons in what authorities said was a coordinated outbreak of violence.
Several of Tuesday’s confrontations took place in maximum security areas of the Guayaquil and Cuenca prisons.
Prison authority SNAI said all those killed in the rioting were prisoners, with first reports citing 50 dead, before rising to 62 and to 79 in the latest report. A further dozen inmates and police were injured, according to official data.
Ecuador’s prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the riots, saying in a statement it had found 18 dismembered bodies in one of the prisons.
Inmates’ relatives remained outside the prisons on Wednesday hoping for information about their loved ones.
Moreno declared Ecuador’s prison system in a state of emergency in 2019 after a wave of incidents that killed 24.