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Ecuadorian police, military raid largest prison after rival gangs clash

IANS logo Reported By IANS |
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Quito, Nov 9 (IANS) Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said the police and military jointly raided the country’s largest prison, the Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil, two days after inmates belonging to rival organized crime rings clashed, leaving two injured.

“Military and police personnel are searching for weapons, ammunition, explosives and banned items inside this center,” Lasso said in a post on X on Tuesday evening.

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He added that the raids will continue “until the last day of my administration as a way to confront corruption in the system and disarm the criminal organizations that operate within the centers”.

He added that the country “must remain firm in its objective of controlling violence in prisons and on the streets”.

In the last three months, Armed Forces and National Police personnel have regularly searched prisons as part of a state of emergency decreed by the government for the entire penitentiary system, following a massacre at the Litoral Penitentiary that left 31 inmates dead in July.

Under the state of emergency, soldiers or police officers are allowed to enter prisons to seize weapons and other banned items in coordination with the national prison administration agency.

Wednesday’s raid aimed to “maintain order and security at the prison”, the Armed Forces said on social media.

The Litoral Penitentiary, which houses some 5,600 inmates, has been the scene of constant clashes between rival gangs linked to drug trafficking.

Since February 2021, more than 400 inmates have been killed, according to official data.



(This report is auto-generated from IANS news service. 'Main Media' holds no responsibility for its content.)

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