"The Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the number of murdered in the Latacunga prison reached 15 people. This is the eighth prison massacre since 2021!!," journalist Orlando Perez tweeted, adding that citizen reports support the existence of 40 people injured.
For hours, the Ecuadorian prison authorities did not provide official information about the events. While the brawl was unfolding, however, inmates posted images of what was happening inside the Cotopaxi prison.
Similar to previous occasions, the fights between rival gangs linked to drug trafficking were very violent and ended with decapitated people whose heads were hung on the fence like intimidating symbols. State security forces were unable to prevent or stop the brawl.
The tweet reads, "Through the roofs. The riot of inmates continues in the Latacunga prison. According to a police report, Leandro Norero Tigua would have been murdered there."
Currently, Ecuador has 36 prisons that house over 32,000 inmates. Since 2020, eight large prison riots have occurred in the Ecuadorian prisons, leaving over 400 dead.
The most serious incident recorded so far took place on Sept. 28, 2021, when 120 inmates died during a riot at the Litoral Penitentiary located near Guayaquil City.
Since Guillermo Lasso became president in May 2021, the situation in Ecuadorian prisons has rapidly deteriorated due to factors related to budget cuts, which have had a negative impact on the institutions and actions related to security prison management.