Seven prisoners found dead in Ecuador jail affected by riots

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QUITO – Ecuador’s SNAI prison authority found the bodies of seven inmates in the same jail where gang violence killed 119 inmates last month, it said Saturday.

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The seven bodies were found in the Litoral Penitentiary, located in the southern city of Guayaquil, which has become the most violent prison in Ecuador.

The riot at the end of last month also injured dozens of prisoners.

The seven inmates found dead on Saturday were found in a pavilion used for conjugal visits, the SNAI authority said in a Twitter message without giving further details.

The deaths of four other inmates at the prison during October are also being investigated.

SNAI will work alongside police and prosecutors as it investigates the deaths of inmates, he said.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency in the country’s penitentiaries last month in order to free up resources and increase control inside the prisons.

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Members of the military have also been hired to help control prisons across the country.

Officials say the gangs have alliances with transnational criminal groups and fight drug trafficking routes.

Since the beginning of the month, Ecuadorian police have controlled violence at the Litoral Penitentiary, he said, adding that other prisons were also under control.

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