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At least 15 prisoners have been killed and 21 injured in a deadly prison riot in the Ecuadorean city of Latacunga.

Governor Oswaldo Coronel of the Cotopaxi province said “At the moment, according to the forensic information from the national police, 15 people have died (and) 21 people have been injured, of which 14 have already been evacuated to hospitals in the city of Latacunga.” Governor Coronel added that tactical units conducted operations to regain control of the facility, which were still ongoing as of 4 AM PDT.

The Penitenciaria de Latacunga houses approximately 4,300 inmates and the governor’s office says the majority serving time are gang affiliated. According to local reporters, the prison is overpopulated by 517 inmates.

During the riots, gang-affiliated inmates used machetes, knives, pipes, and guns to clash with rival inmates in the riot. At least one inmate was decapitated in the incident. Some inmates attempted to break out of the prison resulting in security forces setting up a perimeter around the prison.

The news comes as 316 inmates died during riots in various prisons across Ecuador in 2022. Earlier this year, 13 prisoners were killed at a prison in Santa Domingo, just two months after violence at the same institution killed 43 in May.


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