Ecuador Declares Prison Emergency After 116 Killed In Riot

A woman comforts a man outside the morgue while waiting for the bodies of inmates killed in a riot at the Litoral penitentiary in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Wednesday, September 29, 2021. President Guillermo Lasso said in a press conference that the dead are so far 116. (AP Photo/Angel DeJesus)

(AP) — Ecuador’s president has declared a state of emergency in the prison system following a battle among gang members in a coastal lockup that killed at least 116 people and injured 80. Authorities say it was the worst prison bloodbath ever in the country. Officials say at least five of the dead were found to have been beheaded. The state of emergency declared Wednesday by President Guillermo Lasso gives the government powers that include deploying police and soldiers inside prisons. The order came a day after the carnage at the Litoral penitentiary in Guayaquil, which officials blame on gangs linked to international drug cartels fighting for control of the facility. Lasso says he will act with “absolute firmness” to regain control of the prison.


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