Ecuador wants to release thousands of prisoners to fight riots

The authorities in Ecuador are planning to release thousands of prisoners to relieve pressure on overcrowded prisons. The intention follows earlier this week‘s prison riots in Guayaquil, killing 118 prisoners.

The chief executive of the Ecuadorian prison system says that older people, women and prisoners with disabilities or who are terminal can rely on leniency in particular. The prisons of the South American country now have about 39,000 people.

Battle between groups

According to the prison topman, the riots were caused by rival gang members. They interacted with firearms, knives and explosives. The authorities have sent 3600 officers and military personnel to several prisons in the country to maintain order.

Of 41 victims of last week’s riots, the identity has now been established, 21 bodies have been transferred to family members. At least six victims appear to have been beheaded.

Prison riots in Ecuador are more common. 79 deaths were killed in February, and 22 prisoners were killed in July.