62 inmates dead in Ecuador prison riots

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GBNEWS24 DESK//

At least 62 inmates died Tuesday and several were injured in riots blamed on gang rivalry at three jails in Ecuador’s overcrowded prison system, authorities said.

As security forces battled to regain control, distraught family members waited desperately for news outside the prison in Ecuador’s western port city of Guayaquil, where officials said 21 died, reports Bangkok Post.

Another 33 died at the prison in Cuenca in the south and eight in Latacunga in the centre of the South American country, according to Edmundo Moncayo, director of the government’s SNAI prisons management body.

“We want the death list given to us,” said Daniela Soria, 29, one of about 40 women outside the Guayaquil prison, many of them in tears.

“We know that the problems are not over because everyone there has a phone and my husband doesn’t call me,” she told AFP.

Earlier, she received a WhatsApp voice message from her husband, Ricardo, which she played back for AFP. “They are going to kill me, get me out of here!” he can be heard exclaiming, the last she heard from him.

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, on Twitter, attributed the riots to “criminal organizations” engaged in “simultaneous acts of violence in several prisons.”

The authorities, he said, “are acting to retake control.”

The military was deployed to help police quell the uprising.

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