REPORT: 15 People Dead, 20 Others Injured In Ecuadorian Jail Riot

October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Karen Toro

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A massive clash between rival gangs Monday in an Ecuadorian jail left at least 15 people dead and 20 others injured.

The violent event occurred at one of Ecuador’s largest jails, Latacunga, according to The Associated Press. Inmates fought with guns and knives inside of the complex, with officials attributing the violence to domestic and international drug trafficking groups, the AP continued. Agents are still searching the complex for bodies.

Footage from outside the prison shows what appears to be police dressed in camouflage gear running toward the sound of screams, gunfire, and loud bangs. One of those killed Monday was alleged drug cartel boss Leandro Norero, who was arrested in May on charges related to money-laundering, according to the BBC.

Authorities are working to identify the rest of those killed as security was restored later Monday night, according to Reuters. Ecuador’s prison system is designed to hold roughly 30,000 criminals, but roughly 35,000 inmates were held across the nation’s 53 state prisons as of September, the AP continued. (RELATED: Three Killed In Hostage Situation At Florida Narcotics Anonymous Meeting)

More than 400 inmates have died in prison riots and clashes between drug cartel members since 2020, the BBC noted. The worst of these riots came in 2021, when roughly 125 people were killed in the Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil, the AP reported.