Three died and six were injured in Wednesday night riot at a Guayaquil prison

Mar 29, 2024 | 0 comments

The National Prison Service (SNAI) said three inmates died and six others were injured during Wednesday night’s riot at the Guayas Regional Prison. Originally, SNAI reported that there were no casualties.

Families of inmates gathered outside the Guayaquil prison Thursday morning demanding information about prisoners involved in Wednesday’s riot.

SNAI spokesman Paul Berrezueta said Thursday that the early casualty assessment was premature. “The sweep of the affected areas was not completed until late this morning and this is when we discovered the bodies and determined the injuries,” he said. He added that two areas of the prison sustained “substantial damage.”

According to Berrezueta, the riot began with several small detonations in prison courtyards. Following the blasts, inmates set fire to mattresses, furniture and trash and began chanting anti-government slogans. TikTok posts showed inmates holding signs demanding an end of the presence of army personnel and attacking President Daniel Noboa.

Several social media posts by inmates complained of poor conditions inside the prison as a result of the government’s state of emergency.

Military and prison officials announced Thursday afternoon that new searches of the prison are planned to locate cellphones and computers in possession of inmates. “Communication with outside sources is prohibited and we will punish any prisoner found with these items,” a SNAI statement read.

The statement also acknowledged the quick response of the police and military in containing the riot. “The disturbance was quickly contained, and order was restored within five hours. We will not tolerate the take-over of facilities that occurred in the past,” SNAI said.

The statement added that inmates Ronal G. and Stalin G. have been identified as instigating the riot and have been isolated.

In comments to a Guayaquil radio station, Berrezueta said the damage assessment will continue through the weekend and destroyed furniture and bedding will be procured once the assessment is complete. “We have received complaints from the families of inmates regarding the lack basic necessities due to damage caused in the uprising and these will be restored and provided as soon as possible,” he said. “Some inmates will have to sleep on the concrete for several days.”

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