Prisoners hold guards hostage in Ecuador | WORLD
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Prisoners hold guards hostage in Ecuador

Soldiers outside the Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil, Ecuador Associated Press/Photo by Cesar Munoz

Prisoners hold guards hostage in Ecuador

A spike in gang-related violence has gripped the nation of Ecuador in recent weeks. As of Tuesday, more than 90 prison guards were being held hostage across five prisons. Security forces entered Ecuador’s largest prison after violence that started Saturday left 18 dead. President Guillermo Lasso issued a 60-day state of emergency and a curfew for two provinces experiencing the most upheaval. He also authorized Ecuador’s armed forces to establish order within the prisons.

How has gang violence affected Ecuador? The recent upheaval has taken the stage away from elections scheduled for Aug. 20. The prison violence follows the death of Agustín Intriago, the mayor of the city of Manta, who a gunman killed on Sunday. While the president has issued a state of emergency for prison upheavals in the past, the death of Intriago may encourage stricter policies on gang violence.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Onize Ohikere’s report on a prison riot in Ecuador that claimed the lives of 116 prisoners.

Jeremy Abegg-Guzman

Jeremy Abegg-Guzman is a student at New Saint Andrews College and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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