At least 15 individuals were killed and 20 more were wounded in a fight between convicts at the Latacunga jail in central Ecuador on Monday, according to the police. The inmates were equipped with guns and knives.
Officials linked the conflict to international and national groups of drug trafficking, which have turned the prisons of the Andean nation into the scene of repeated massacres as these groups fight for the right to distribute drugs and power.
The death toll at the Latacunga jail, which is situated 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, was verified by the country’s national penitentiary service. The pavilions of the jail are still being searched for corpses by the agents.
On social media, people have been posting videos of the prison riot in which you can hear convicts screaming and firing.
According to the penitentiary service, there were around 316 deaths that occurred inside Ecuador’s jails in the previous year. This year there have already been 90 people who have passed away. The biggest massacre occurred in September of the previous year in the Littoral Penitentiary, when 125 people were dead as a result. The prison system in Ecuador is built to hold around 30,000 individuals, but as of the previous month, there were approximately 35,000 convicts being housed in 53 different state prisons.