On Wednesday, three prisoners were discovered hung in a jail in Ecuador, which is a country where over 400 people have been killed in violent gang conflicts in correctional centers since 2021, according to the police.
During a head count at the Riobamba jail, guards “identified three inmates suspended, without vital signs, with presumed indications of hanging,” the country’s prison authority SNAI stated. “These inmates had presumed indications of hanging.”
The office of the prosecutor said on Twitter that the remains had been identified and moved to the morgue in the city of Riobamba, which is located around 180 kilometers (1112 miles) south of the nation’s capital city of Quito.
At an earlier point in the day, the authorities searched the jail and took possession of many guns, mobile phones, narcotics, and knives.
Since the beginning of 2021, intense combat between criminal organizations in Ecuadorian jails has resulted in the deaths of over 420 prisoners. This has occurred against the backdrop of competing gangs vying for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes and territory throughout Ecuador.
The authorities did not specify whether the three dead convicts who were found hanging on Wednesday had been members of any criminal gangs.
In the month of April, a firefight took place inside a jail in the port city of Guayaquil, which has been severely affected by the violence that is associated with drug trafficking. Twelve inmates were murdered in the incident.
At the same facility, staff discovered the bodies of six convicts who had been hung in their cells a few days earlier.
A census of Ecuador’s incarceration facilities conducted in 2022 revealed that the country houses around 31,000 inmates spread among 36 facilities with a total capacity of 30,000 persons.