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Ecuador's Police Regain Control Over Prison Recently Hit by Deadly Riots

© REUTERS / VICENTE GAIBOR DEL PINOArmy soldiers check an ambulance driver at the Penitenciaria del Litoral jail after prisoners died and others were injured in a riot in Guayaquil, Ecuador, September 28, 2021.
Army soldiers check an ambulance driver at the Penitenciaria del Litoral jail after prisoners died and others were injured in a riot in Guayaquil, Ecuador, September 28, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The Ecuadorian police have regained control over a prison in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, a site of riots between gangs that left at least 118 dead, Police Chief Tannya Varela, said.
"Based on the state of emergency, which allows the police and armed forces to be inside the penitentiary, the violence was brought under control", Varela said in a video published on Twitter.
During the operation in the Litoral prison, the police seized 13 firearms, including six automatic rifles and seven pistols, 1,136 rounds of various calibres, 250 knives, five grenades, 60 cellphones, and 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of drugs.
The violence between criminal groups, which is a common occurrence in Ecuadorian prisons, erupted last week, killing 118 inmates and injuring 79 others, marking a record for Ecuador's penitentiary system in terms of the number of casualties.
The country's president, Guillermo Lasso, introduced a 60-day state of emergency in the prison system after consultations with senior officials. About 3,600 law enforcement officers were deployed to detention centres around Ecuador designed to lodge 29,000 prisoners in total.
However, according to the prison service, around 40,000 inmates are currently held in these facilities. In particular, there are over 8,000 inmates in the Litoral prison, designed to house only 5,000 prisoners.
To decongest the system, the authorities are planning to grant pardons to around 2,000 prisoners in a bid to relieve the workload of prisons.
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