Authorities recaptured the vast majority of the 220 prisoners who had escaped Monday from a downtown jail. Ecuador where a riot left 44 dead, the Police reported Tuesday.
LOOK: More than 100 prisoners remain at large after riot in Ecuador prison
“There were a total of 220 citizens who (they) escaped yesterday and at the moment 200 have been recaptured” due to police and military patrols and checkpoints, the chief of police operations, General Geovanny Ponce.
Until Monday night, the authorities had reported 112 “recaptured” and 108 escaped.
According to the latest balance, at least 44 inmates died during a confrontation between rival gangs in the Bellavista prison, in Santo Domingo (center). Ponce indicated that among the deceased there are two Venezuelans.
So far 41 bodies have been identified, the police chief said, describing a situation of “complete calm” in the prison.
Ponce explained that the government will offer rewards of up to $3,000 for those who provide information on the twenty inmates who are still missing.
In the bloody confrontation, a gang linked to drug trafficking attacked another rival, killing its members with knives inside the cells.
Ten inmates were injured, in addition to a policeman.
This is the sixth prison massacre recorded in Ecuador since February 2021, bringing the number of prisoners killed in violent riots within prisons to nearly 400.
The massacre in the Santo Domingo prison (about 80 km from Quito) occurred a month after another in the El Turi prison, in the Andean Cuenca, in which 20 people died.
As a measure to stop the violence, six gang leaders were transferred from Bellavista to two maximum security prisons.
The government of President Guillermo Lasso attributes the massacres to the confrontation between gangs linked to drug trafficking that dispute the territory for the distribution of drugs inside and outside the prisons.
To contain the deaths behind bars, the ruler implemented the transfer of dangerous prisoners, promoted pardons to reduce the prison population, allocated a budget to prisons and created a pacification commission, which in its most recent report branded Ecuadorian prisons as “ cellars for human beings and torture centers”.