At least 15 prisoners were killed at a prison in Ecuador’s city of Latacunga on Monday, Oct. 3 according to the national prison agency (SNAI). The agency added that another 21 were injured, in the latest incident of deadly jail violence within the Andean country.
Authorities are working on identifying the bodies, officials said, while Oswaldo Coronel, governor of the Cotopaxi province, which includes Latacunga, told reporters security had been restored.
According to Coronel, 14 of the 21 injured people have been evacuated to hospitals in the city of Latacunga.
In July, 13 prisoners were killed at a prison in Santo Domingo, just two months after violence at the same institution killed 43 in May.
Last year, 316 prisoners died during riots in various prisons across Ecuador.
The government of conservative President Guillermo Lasso attributes prison violence to fights between gangs over control of territory and drug trafficking routes.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has said Ecuador’s prison system is blighted by state abandonment and the absence of a comprehensive policy, as well as poor conditions for inmates.
The country’s prisons house about 33,500 people and are 11.3 percent beyond maximum capacity, according to official figures.
By Reuters. (Production: Tito Correa, Nina Lopez)