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The death toll in prison riots has risen to 116

International Desk /

 

The death toll from Ecuador’s prison riots has risen to 116, Reuters news agency quoted President Guillermo Lasso as saying at a news conference on Wednesday.

Lasso also said he would send additional security forces and release funds to prevent a recurrence of such deadly riots. The riot took place at the Penitentiary del Litoral prison in the province of Guayaquil on Tuesday night, local time. Another 80 prisoners were injured. In the last few months, there have been several deadly riots between criminal groups over control of the prison. Speaking at a news conference in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, President Lasso said: “It is unfortunate that criminal groups are trying to turn prisons into battlefields because of power struggles. I pray to God that we may avoid further loss of life and bless Ecuador. ”

Tuesday’s riots were the deadliest in Ecuador’s prisons to date. Earlier, at least 79 people were killed in riots at another Ecuadorian prison in February and at least 22 in another in July. After the riots on Tuesday, many people gathered in front of the jail to get news of the relatives and demanded accountability of the officials in charge of the security of the inmates. The government tightened its military presence around the prison. Lasso said the state would help the families of the dead and wounded prisoners. Six of those killed in the Penitentiary del Litoral prison have been beheaded, the country’s prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Wednesday morning. Earlier, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the violence. Human Rights Watch called on the Ecuadorian government to fully investigate the prison violence and bring those responsible to justice.

In August, President Lasso said the government would allocate more money to build new wards in crowded prisons and install new equipment to improve security.

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