Ecuador: 35 people killed in riot at penitentiary

The bodies of 35 people killed in prison violence in Ecuador have been identified, with one of them said to be dead from stab wounds inflicted as he slept.

It was the country’s deadliest prison riot in at least a decade, and police confirmed that the bodies of 40 people had been found on Sunday.

Late on Sunday, officials told state news agency Galpo that 32 bodies had been identified.

That figure did not include that of the one who officials said had died in the early hours of Tuesday when inmates continued to resist and police resorted to firing teargas and eventually struck with rubber bullets.

“Because of lack of time, there may be some discrepancies between the identification of the bodies by relatives and authorities,” according to Galpo.

It added that among the officers injured were armed security personnel from Ecuador’s military and police departments.

The violence erupted early on Sunday after the sole guard at a prison in the capital Quito’s south had complained that officers were being arrested for poor performance, according to attorney general’s office spokesman Miguel Galvez.

From lunchtime on Monday, armed inmates launched coordinated attacks against several prisons throughout the country. The slaughter left one guard dead and nearly 30 others injured. Police repelled several hours of rioting in the Guillermo Cochez penitentiary before eventually retreating from the complex in panic. The 46 prisoners escaping died at sea by crashing into an archipelago of coral outcrops in an island off the coastal province of Guayaquil.

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