(Santo Domingo de los Colorados) Two hundred detainees who escaped Monday during deadly riots in a prison in northern Ecuador have been “recaptured” by security forces, Ecuadorian police announced on Tuesday.
“So far, 200 prisoners have been recaptured” by the security forces, through police and army patrols and checkpoints, police operations chief Gen. Geovany Ponce.
According to the latest official report, at least 44 prisoners died in clashes between two rival gangs on Monday in Bellavista prison, in the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, about 80 km west of Quito.
More than 200 prisoners escaped as a result of the violence, according to statements by the police, who did not specify their exact number. She had reported Monday evening of 112 “recaptured” detainees, and 108 others still in the wild.
On Tuesday, desperate and in tears, dozens of parents and relatives of prisoners were still waiting outside Bellavista prison awaiting news of their loved ones, AFP noted.
Soldiers and soldiers were deployed in and around the establishment. AFP also observed men in uniform rounding up around 80 detainees believed to have been recaptured in recent hours.
“They don’t give us any information. They say young men escaped for their lives, others are going to be transferred,” said Leisi Zambrano, with no news from her brother.
“There are many mothers who, to this day, have not heard from their loved ones, who do not even know if they are alive,” added the 48-year-old housewife.
As soon as she heard about the clashes, Ms. Zambrano said she rushed to the prison in the early hours of the morning, along with other family members. “We heard the prisoners calling for help, don’t let them die,” she said, commenting, “It’s a butcher’s shop inside.”
Horrific videos are circulating on social media, showing a pile of bloody, naked and mutilated bodies on the hemoglobin-covered floor of a common room. Or even corpses strewing the corridors of the prison, next to mattresses that the attackers probably tried to set on fire.