Another prison confrontation in Ecuador leaves 43 dead

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QUITO, Ecuador — A clash between rival Ecuadorian gangs killed 43 inmates, authorities said Monday, just over a month after another prison riot resulted in 20 deaths.

Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo told a news conference that a group of inmates came out of their cells to attack another inside the Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Quito, the capital. .

“It is evident that those who lost their lives were executed with knives; most of the bodies had those characteristics, ”he said, offering help to the relatives to move the bodies to their places of origin.

The minister said firearms, explosives and other weapons were found after police assault teams helped retake control of the prison.

Authorities said 220 prisoners escaped during the violence, of whom 112 had been recaptured.

The human rights group Amnesty International reported in March that at least 316 prisoners were killed in clashes in Ecuadorian prisons during 2020, including 119 who were killed during a riot in September of that year.

A month after that report was published, a clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives left 20 dead in Turi, some 310 kilometers (190 miles) south of the capital.

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