Ecuadorean President Guillermo Laso announced that 116 prisoners were killed and about 80 wounded, as a result of the bloody clashes that took place on Tuesday in Litoral prison, on the outskirts of the coastal city of Guayaquil.
In a televised address, Lasso noted that the prison was not yet fully secured, and urged relatives and families of prisoners to stay away from the area, announcing the allocation of $24 million to the prison system during the state of emergency. “I wish I was able to say that we secured Littoral prison completely, but frankly I can’t,” he added, noting that more bodies may be found in the next few hours. The government declared a 60-day state of emergency in Ecuador’s prisons. The measure permits the deployment of military forces in prisons, and limits inmates’ rights to privacy and freedom of association in order to permit searches and other monitoring procedures. The violence erupted on Tuesday morning as gangs exchanged gunfire and explosives, to seize control of one of the units in the main prison in Guayaquil, said General Fausto Bonino, regional police chief, revealing that at least five of the dead prisoners had been beheaded.