Revolt at Ecuador jail where powerful gang leader escaped

Revolt at Ecuador jail where powerful gang leader escaped
Revolt at Ecuador jail where powerful gang leader escaped

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A fire is seen at the Guayas 4 block inside the Regional 8 prison complex after an "internal revolt" by inmates, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on March 27, 2024. — AFP pic

GUAYAQUIL, March 28 — Authorities in Ecuador were working to quell a prison revolt Wednesday in the port city of Guayaquil at the same facility where one of the country’s most feared gang leaders escaped in January.

The “internal revolt” was started by a group of inmates, the SNAI prisons service said on the social media platform X, adding that authorities had regained control of over 80 per cent of the jail.

AFP journalists heard gunshots coming from the prison, which is part of a vast penitentiary complex in southwestern Guayaquil from which the powerful narco-gang boss Adolfo “Fito” Macias escaped on January 7. Macias is still on the run.

He had been jailed since 2011, serving a 34-year sentence for organised crime, drug trafficking and murder.

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His escape sparked mutinies in the country’s prisons and gang violence in the streets.

To restore order, President Daniel Noboa imposed a state of emergency and declared the country to be at “war” with gangs, deploying more than 20,000 troops.

Once considered a bastion of peace in Latin America, Ecuador has been plunged into crisis after years of expansion by transnational cartels that use its ports to ship drugs to the United States and Europe. — AFP

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