About 110 inmates have been killed, including at least six that had been beheaded and 80 others that were wounded during a war between two gangs in Ecuador prison.
A battle between two criminal gangs in Ecuador prison have killed at least 116 people with six beheaded and injured 80 others in what authorities described as the worst penitentiary massacre in the country’s history.
It was gathered that the brutal prison fight first broke out on Tuesday and officials said the violence erupted from a dispute between the “Los Lobos” and “Los Choneros” prison gangs.
The riot is thought to have been sparked by a birthday party that was thrown for the leader of the Los Choneros gang on September 24.
During the party, gang members had boasted that they controlled the jail and taunted their rivals, according to local news site Primacias.
Unwilling to take the provocation laying down, members of the Lobos gangs planned a revenge attack that they launched on Tuesday morning by crawling through a hole separating the jail wings in which they were housed and into wings holding Choneros members.
Once inside, they began throwing grenades and beheading rival gang members, before the Choneros struck back with gunfire.
Some of the worst violence was concentrated around Pavilions 9 and 10 of the prison, with dozens of bodies found littering the blood-soaked floors.
Outside the prison morgue, the relatives of inmates wept, with some describing to reporters the cruelty with which their loved ones were killed, decapitated and dismembered.
President Guillermo Lasso decreed a state of
President Lasso, who was visibly angry, said at a news conference that what was happening in the Ecuador prison was very “bad and sad”.
The president said he could not for the moment guarantee that authorities had regained control of the lockup.
“It is unfortunate that criminal groups are attempting to convert prisons into a battleground for power disputes,”
“I ask God to bless Ecuador and that we can avoid more loss of human life,” Lasso told reporters in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.
“In the history of the country, there has not been an incident similar or close to this one,” said Ledy Zúñiga, the former president of Ecuador’s National Rehabilitation Council.
Images circulating on social media showed dozens of bodies in the prison’s Pavilions 9 and 10 and scenes that looked like battlefields.