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  • Inmates took over various wings of the prison and got on the roofs to protest living conditions.

    Inmates took over various wings of the prison and got on the roofs to protest living conditions. | Photo: Social Media

Published 22 July 2019

This riot occurs just under a week after President Lenin Moreno extended the state of exception declared in the penitentiary system for another 30 days.

Dozens of inmates staged a riot demanding better living conditions Monday at the Social Rehabilitation Center of Latacunga, in the Ecuadorean province of Cotopaxi, resulting in two dead prisoners and one injured cop.

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"Even animals are treated better than our prisoners, we are aware that they have broken the law, but not for that they are going to mistreat them," a prisoner's wife, outside the prison, which is located about 100 km from Quito, told El Comercio. 

The incident began at 08:00 when inmates took over various wings of the prison and got on the roofs to protest the poor quality of food and water, overcrowding and to request for the extension of visiting hours. By 10:30, as Special Ops from the National Police and Armed Forces intervened, the events were under controlled. 

Meanwhile, the defense attorney of former Vice President Jorge Glas, who serves a six-year sentence in Latacunga due to alleged charges of corruption, called once again for the Minister of Interior Maria Paula Romo, to transfer Glas to prison in Quito, as there have been threats against his life. 

This riot occurs just under a week after President Lenin Moreno extended the state of exception declared in the penitentiary system for another 30 days. The measure constitutes an extension of a Decree which entered into force on May 16.

As the situation in Ecuador’s prison system worsens, authorities have recognized problems of overcrowding where the prison capacity, in general, exceeds 40 percent, lack of services, a deficit of custodians, disputes between internal mafias, smuggling of weapons, and even police personnel involved in illegal acts. 

With Monday's incident, this year’s prisoner death toll has reached 21. 

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