Three people died this Friday in Ecuador when they allegedly manipulated explosives that they tried to introduce into the Guayaquil prisonwhere the worst prison massacres in the country have been recorded, authorities reported.
The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating “the death of 3 people who -apparently- were manipulating explosives and trying to enter them into the Litoral Penitentiary, in Guayaquil, using drones,” the agency said on its Twitter account.
(Also read: Ecuador, involved in a spiral of social violence)
The Prosecutor’s Office clarified that the event occurred at dawn, on a hill in a private urbanization in the town of Daule, one kilometer from the penitentiary center, the most populous in the country, located in the province of Guayas, one of the three that since April is under state exception for street violence by organized crime.
Staff from the Prosecutor’s Office and agents from the National Police collected the first signs of the event.
Major Henry Meneses, chief of operations for the district of Daule, stated that members of the anti-explosives unit (GIR) of the Police went to the scene and early in the day carried out tasks to control “apparently explosive devices” that apparently they were “similar to drones”.
Meneses indicated that three bodies were found at the scene, some of which had dismembered limbs.presumably by the manipulation of unmanned devices.
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WE INFORM 🚨
Given an event that occurred this morning on a hill in the La Rioja urbanization sector, #Daulespecialized units of @PoliceEcuador They take the respective procedure and carry out investigations to find those responsible. pic.twitter.com/B3MZ8PhJfb
– Police Ecuador (@PoliciaEcuador) May 20, 2022
The police official said that in the first investigations a “mobile phone with batteries for drones, the same vehicle that was found a few meters away” was located.
For his part, Police Colonel Julio Miño told the media at the scene that one of the deceased individuals was identified and had a criminal record, while the identities of the other two dead are still being investigated.
“Four drones with agricultural characteristics are identified, that is, with a high capacity to transport cargo of a fairly large size,” Miño assured before advancing that one of the lines of investigation is that the deceased had come to that vacant place at dawn to handle explosives.
(Keep reading: Ecuador: the rivalry between gangs that has prisons in check)
The prison crisis
Since February 2021, when the massacres behind bars began, nearly 400 inmates have died in different prisons in the country.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo lamented on the same social network that the violence “will not be resolved immediately.”
“The threat is drug trafficking and it must be faced with healthy justice, practical wisdom, strong institutions and specialized regulations.Carrillo wrote.
In September of last year, a Guayaquil prison was attacked with explosives carried by drones. On that occasion there were no injuries or deaths, but the roof infrastructure was damaged.
(Also: Latin America: the wave of violence in prisons in recent years)
The National Government is not the enemy. The threat is drug trafficking and it must be faced with healthy justice, practical wisdom, strong institutions and specialized regulations.
The situation will not be resolved immediately, but we will not rest until we do. https://t.co/ilglwve5XZ
– Patricio Carrillo (@CarrilloRosero) May 20, 2022
Ecuador faces the increase in criminal violence linked to drug trafficking, which leaves messages of terror with decapitated and hanging bodies.
Last year the nation closed with a rate of 14 murders per 100,000 people, almost double that of 2020.
The nation that for many years remained relatively safe from the violence of its neighbors Colombia and Peru – the world’s two largest producers of cocaine – last year seized a record 210 tons of the drug.
To contain the violence, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Guayas (whose capital is Guayaquil), Manabí and Esmeraldas.
AFP and EFE
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