SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 16 October 2021, Saturday |

Ecuador Police, military enter Guayaquil jail amid violence

Officials reported on Saturday that a police and military operation to enter a jail in the southern Ecuadorean city of Guayaquil amid disturbances engaged over a thousand people.

The Regional Guayas jail is close to the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison, where 118 prisoners were slain earlier this week in the country’s worst-ever prison riot.

Ecuador is experiencing an uptick in violence in its jails, which contain over 39,000 inmates, with officials blaming it on power struggles between criminal gangs.

In February, 79 individuals were killed in prison, and 22 in July.

“As a result of these actions firearms, munitions and prohibited items were seized,” Ecuador’s SNAI prison authority said of the operation involving the military on Twitter.

When they entered the jail, police and military personnel found four inmates who were injured during confrontations between prisoners, police commander Tannya Varela said.

“When we entered the maximum (security) wings we were received with bullets,” Varela told journalists. “We entered and removed the four injured. They were evacuated by the armed forces and taken to be attended to.”

Police also arrested seven alleged members of a crime gang planning to bring weapons and uniforms similar to those worn by guards into the jail, she said.

Those arrested were captured during a meeting in Guayaquil to discuss the plans and other crimes, she said, and they may have been planning to attack guards or inmates.