Army troops began entering federal prisons Tuesday afternoon in Cuenca, Guayaquil and Latacunga in an attempt to contain what the government is calling coordinated riots by criminal gangs.
At 3:30 p.m. the interior ministry said at least 62 have died in the riots with 33 of the deaths occurring in Cuenca’s Turi prison, 21 in Guayaquil and 8 in Latacunga. The ministry said there are no prison employees among the dead and said it believed most inmate deaths were “revenge” killings between gangs.
The ministry says police and army troops are slowly regaining control of the prisons but said that that none of the facilities were fully secured as of mid-afternoon. Fires were reported in all three prisons.
In Cuenca, ambulances were remvoing the dead and injured from the prison yard.