"So far there is no real information on victims," the Interior Minister said, adding that the National Police was deployed to the prison to support its security guards.
Based on testimonies, however, Riobamba Digital and other local media reported that the riot left 60 people murdered and 80 prisoners injured. Taking advantage of what was happening, 45 prisoners managed to escape from the Bella Vista jail, although authorities managed to recapture 40 a few hours later.
"Videos of dismembered inmates circulate through social networks. A human butchery is currently being experienced inside the Santo Domingo's prison, but the Interior Minister and the National Police have no information about what is going on inside," Pronostico Reservado tweeted.
— Rubén Dario Loor #Apolo13 (@AB_DECAUSAJUSTA)
May 9, 2022
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo announced he is coordinating with the Armed Forces to control the situation. Almost at noon, authorities recognized the existence of two deaths, although videos posted on social networks show a greater number of victims.
Over the last two years, al least 400 inmates have died in clashes related to gangs that are vying for internal control of prisons. Until the end of 2021, there were over 36,000 inmates in prisons whose maximum capacity is 30,000 people.
The prison crisis has not been contained by President Guillermo Lasso, who spoke of hiring 1,400 new prison officers, granting around 5,000 pardons to prisoners convicted of minor crimes, and asking Israel for advice on security issues.