Quito: At least 12 inmates were killed and 10 others injured during a violent riot at a prison in Ecuador, according to authorities.
The riot took place on Sunday in Cuenca’s city’s Turi prison, one of the largest correctional centres in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.
In response to the riot, the government sent more than 800 members of the National Police and the Armed Forces to restore law and order.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo told reporters that so far, “12 victims have been identified”.
“The motivation (of the riot) is because there is an organisation that wants to have absolute power in the centre and there are some cells that have rebelled against them,” Carrillo said.
Authorities indicated that during the disturbances, 90 prisoners were evacuated, including 10 who had been injured.
“Unfortunately, prisons have for a long time become a permanent threat, but today the will exists and we are going to take the necessary actions,” said Carrillo, adding that measures were being taken to prevent potential riots in other prisons in the country.
Violence has become more prevalent in Ecuador’s prisons in recent years due to clashes between rival gangs fighting for control, with the deadliest riot occurring in September 2021 when 116 prisoners were killed and 80 others injured.