In Ecuador, 21 people have died as a result of prison riots.

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In Ecuador, 21 people have died as a result of prison riots.

At least 21 inmates were killed in riots at two Ecuadorian prisons on Thursday, authorities reported, as the country struggled with its second wave of deadly prison unrest this year.

Another 50 individuals, including several police officers, were injured. The SNAI prisons administration authority stated in a statement that elite police forces recovered control of the two prisons on Wednesday, one in the southwest province of Guayas and the other in the center Andean region of Cotopaxi.

According to an updated toll released Thursday, thirteen detainees died at the Cotopaxi prison, while 35 others were injured, including six police officers.

31 convicts attempted to flee the facility, but were stopped by police and military.

According to SNAI, eight inmates were killed and three police officers were injured in the incident at the Guayas prison.

The two prisons were also implicated in a violent wave that erupted in February. 79 inmates were killed in a single day in fights between rival gangs fighting for control of the country’s largest prisons.

Inmates were decapitated and burned alive during those disturbances, exposing the might of prison gangs and shocking the South American nation.

Ecuador’s jail system, which has around 60 institutions built to hold 29,000 offenders, is overcrowded and understaffed. According to analysts, almost 38,000 detainees are guarded by 1,500 guards, a deficiency of about 2,500.

According to Ecuador’s human rights ombudsman, 103 people were killed in Ecuadorian jails in 2020.

President Lenin Moreno imposed a state of emergency numerous times in an attempt to quell the violence, including for three months last year.

Ecuador has employed alternative penalties for minor offenses to ease its prison population since the coronavirus outbreak began, reducing overcrowding from 42 percent to 30 percent.

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