20 killed, 5 injured in Ecuador prison riot

Soldiers standing guard outside a prison
Soldiers stand guard outside a prison after a deadly riot Sunday in Cuenca, Ecuador.
(Marcelo Suquilanda / Associated Press)

A clash between prison gangs armed with guns and knives left 20 people dead, Ecuadorian officials said Monday, adding that authorities had fully regained control of the penitentiary.

Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said five of the dead had been mutilated, six hanged and one poisoned during the clash Sunday in Turi, about 190 miles south of the capital, Quito. At least five people had serious injuries.

Speaking to Radio Democracy, Carrillo linked the riot to a “criminal economy” with links to politics, but he did not expand on that.


Gen. Carlos Cabrera, the commander of police, told a news conference that authorities were making a block-by-block search of the prison.

After 62 people are killed on Saturday alone, El Salvador’s president calls a state of emergency with Congress’ support.

March 27, 2022

What appeared to be gunfire and screaming could be heard on videos of the incident broadcast by local news media. Carrillo said Sunday that about 1,000 police and military personnel worked to control the riot.

Amnesty International said last month that at least 316 prisoners were killed in confrontations in Ecuadorian prisons in 2020, with 119 of those dying in a September riot.

The government in the past has blamed confrontations on drug gangs linked to Mexican cartels.