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Ecuadorian prison authorities (SNAI) have reported the successful release of all staff held hostage during recent prison riots in the country. The group, comprising 158 correctional officers and 20 administrative staff, was held across various prisons since last Monday.

The release was facilitated by coordinated efforts of the police and the national army, as stated in SNAI’s announcement on the social media platform X on Saturday.

This hostage situation emerged amid escalating violence in Ecuadorian prisons. Broadcasts by the police showed the moment of release, where guards, visibly tired and emotional, were assisted by colleagues. A video shared on social media captured a prison employee outside a facility in Cotopaxi province, expressing relief and waving the national flag.

Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa acknowledged the efforts of SNAI, the police, and the armed forces in securing the release, as mentioned in his statement on X. The country has been dealing with a surge in violence, further intensified by the escape of Adolfo Macias, a notorious gang leader, which coincided with the declaration of a state of emergency.

In the past week, the unrest has led to 19 deaths, including civilians, prison staff, and police, as reported by SNAI. Additionally, a guard was killed during an armed confrontation in a prison in El Oro province. SNAI has announced plans to investigate those behind the hostage-taking.

This comes as security operations continue across Ecuador, resulting in the arrest of over 1,000 people since the start of the emergency period.


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