Ecuador’s Prison Slaughterhouse a Warning to Rest of Latin America
Ecuador is reeling from its worst-ever prison massacre, but the factors that led to this situation could well be replicated in other countries across the region. On September 28, fighting broke out at a prison in Guayaquil between two large gangs, the Choneros and the Lobos. Two major riots took place during the day, leading to at least 116 inmates losing their lives, according to official figures. Images on social media showed grisly scenes, including bodies piled up against walls and corpses with severed heads and limbs.
This was the worst prison massacre yet in Ecuador, which is facing an escalating crisis of violence between its major gangs, largely in Guayaquil. In February, coordinated attacks by four gangs, including the Lobos, against the Choneros at three prisons across Ecuador’s second city saw 75 inmates murdered. On July 21, another 21 people were killed at prisons in Guayaquil and Cotopaxi, again linked to gang rivalries.
These massacres seem to reflect a larger pattern of growing criminal sophistication in Ecuador.
Article in Spanish on Notes de Seguretat