The National Prisons Agency said in Ecuador Yesterday, Saturday, all the hostages held by prisoners were freed, while violence continued in the country's prisons, leading to the death of a guard and the injury of another.
The prisoners had been holding these hostages – 158 guards and 20 administrative employees – since Monday, amid a sharp escalation in violence in the South American country.
President Daniel Noboa congratulated the police and armed forces on their success in freeing the guards and employees, in a post on the “X” social media platform.
The prison agency said that an investigation will be conducted to determine those responsible for the hostage-taking in this country, which has been torn by criminal gang violence linked to drug trafficking.
According to Agence France-Presse, in the past 24 hours, Ecuador witnessed new violence in prisons, which resulted in the killing of at least one guard and the injury of another, according to the prison administration.
Agence France-Presse added that “armed clashes” took place between security forces and prisoners at dawn in Machala Prison (southwest). The army and police also carried out “intervention operations to restore order and normalcy” inside prisons in 6 cities.
At least five prisoners escaped on Friday evening from the huge Guayaquil prison complex in southwestern Ecuador, and two of them were arrested shortly after during a large-scale manhunt, according to identical sources.
Since Sunday, Ecuador has been witnessing an unprecedented security crisis after the escape of Adolfo Macias “Vito,” the leader of the Choneros gang, from the Guayaquil prison, which is under maximum security.
Vito's escape was followed by rebellions, hostage-taking by guards in various prisons, attacks on police, and the setting fire to vehicles. 19 people were killed.
The country's president declared a state of emergency and ordered the army to eliminate these criminal gangs, which he described as “terrorists.”