Report: Over 100 Dead In Ecuadorian Prison Riot: Machetes, Chainsaws, Guns, Grenades | Beaufort County Now | Over a hundred inmates at a prison in Ecuador were killed after several days of brawling between rival Mexican criminal gangs fighting to control drug smuggling routes in the region.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Leif Le Mahieu.

    Over a hundred inmates at a prison in Ecuador were killed after several days of brawling between rival Mexican criminal gangs fighting to control drug smuggling routes in the region.

    The Litoral Penitentiary, a prison in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, faced deadly fighting this week as rival Mexican drug cartels struggled for power. The fighting, which left at least 118 dead, reportedly involved machetes, chainsaws, guns, and even grenades.

    The conflict, largely between the Los Choneros and Los Lobos drug cartels, was not just an effort to exert control over the prison, but also to express power outside of the prison and drug routes throughout the South American nation.

    "This kind of depraved violence has grown as gangs fight for control of the prisons," Col. Mario Pazmiño, a former director of Ecuador military intelligence, told The Guardian. "The violence; the dismemberment, the decapitation, is a strategy to sow terror among the prisoners to gain territorial control - not just inside the prison but outside."

    The prison complex was in chaos for several days as police and other prison authorities tried to take back control. Initially, prison managers said that they had restored order on Wednesday yet police then announced full control on Thursday evening following morning reports of explosions and gunshots.

    Roughly 80 inmates were also injured during the chaos, which took nearly 900 police officers to quell.

    "We have not yet completed the intervention in the penitentiary, so it is possible that there are other bodies inside, and some of the injured could die from their wounds," Tannya Varela, a police commander announced on Thursday.

    "We will continue to clean up within this detention center because (inmates) should understand our clear message: the state is present," she also said. "It is we, not them, who have authority."

    Many locals of prisoners have expressed concern about the status of their family members and are still looking to hear if they were killed during the unrest. One mother of an inmate, Zenaida Moreira, said she might have identified her son as one of the people killed.

    "I don't know if one of the bodies I saw was his. I saw a decapitated head, the face is similar to his, but the authorities are not saying anything," Moreira said.

    Violence in Ecuadorian prisons is not new; just over 100 inmates have been killed, already this year, in incidents of prison violence.

    The director of Ecuador's Center for Strategic Intelligence, Fausto Cobo, stated that the rioting was "connected with other serious problems" when asked if there was a link to drug trafficking saying that the violence was a "threat against the Ecuadorian state." Others, like Pazmino, are more direct in connecting the violence to drugs.

    "This presence of drug trafficking is reflected in a permanent fight over pathways and territory from where drugs leave, and that is what is being replicated in the detention centers, as well as cities where score-settling and assassinations take place," Pazmino said, according to Reuters.

    The State Department has linked Ecuadorian-based gangs and ports to a substantial amount of the source of the illicit cocaine that makes it to the United States and Europe via smuggling.

    "To address the growing challenges of transnational crime and drug trafficking, Ecuadorian authorities need to do more to secure maritime cargo from illicit use, enhance analytical intelligence capabilities, increase maritime interdiction capacity, and redouble efforts to investigate and prosecute corruption within the police, military, and justice systems," the State Department noted in a March 2021 report.

    Deaths involving cocaine in the United States increased roughly 21% in 2020 according to CDC data.

    The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
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