Military mobilize before threat of new prison riot in Ecuador

The military forces mobilized on Tuesday outside a prison in Ecuador, faced with the threat of a riot after the death of 20 inmates over the weekend during a fight in another prison, according to an official source.

The troops intensified operations in the outer perimeter of the Machala penitentiary, on the coast of southwestern Ecuador, “in the face of possible riots,” the joint command said on Twitter.

According to the high command, the goal is to “maintain control and surveillance” of the detention site.

On his side, the highest authority of the province of El Oro, whose capital is Machala, barely reported “events” in the prison, without specifying if there were clashes between the inmates.

“Our priority is to guarantee the safety and well-being of officials” of the agency in charge of the prisons (SNAI) and of the prisoners, Governor Fulton Serrano said on the same social network.

On Sunday, 20 inmates died in clashes between gangs linked to drug trafficking in the El Turi penitentiary, in the Andean city of Cuenca (south).

Ecuador’s prison system is going through a severe crisis due to the war between drug-related prisoners. More than 320 inmates died in 2021 in the worst wave of prison massacres ever recorded in Latin America.

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