At least 10 dead after prison transfers of Ecuador gang leaders

By Alexandra Valencia

Violence ensued after prison transfers of gang leaders in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. Riots left at least 10 people dead. (Photo credit: DW)

QUITO, Nov 18 (Reuters) – At least 10 people were killed in violence at a prison in Ecuador’s capital Quito on Friday, the prisons agency said, after authorities moved two gang leaders to a maximum-security facility.

Authorities have been moving prisoners considered to be gang leaders to new facilities in a bid to help reduce violence in the country’s chaotic jails. Ecuador’s prison system has faced structural problems for decades, but jail violence has soared since late 2020, killing at least 400 people and terrorizing inmates’ families.

At least five police officers were killed earlier this month in attacks in reaction to the transfer of about 1,000 prisoners, while at least two inmates died in related violence.

The attorney general’s office said on Twitter on Friday that it had opened an investigation into the deaths of nine people at the El Inca prison in the capital. The SNAI prison authority confirmed at least 10 prisoners had died.

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