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At least 116 dead in Ecuador prison riot

An ambulance leaves the Litoral Penitentiary on Wednesday after the deadly prison riot. Associated Press/Photo by Angel DeJesus

At least 116 dead in Ecuador prison riot

Authorities said the Tuesday battle among gang members inside the Litoral penitentiary in the port city of Guayaquil marks the worst penitentiary massacre in Ecuador’s history. The dead include five people who were beheaded, while 80 other people sustained injuries. Officials on Wednesday said the prisoners used firearms, knives, and bombs during the fighting.

What caused the uproar? Authorities pinned the fighting on a battle for control between the “Los Lobos” and “Los Choneros” prison gangs, which are linked to international drug cartels. Riots across several prisons in July left more than 100 inmates dead. Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, authorizing the government to deploy police and soldiers into prisons.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archive, read my Sift on the 2019 protests in Ecuador.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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