Ecuador Overwhelmed by Car Bombs and Prison Riots

Ecuador Overwhelmed by Car Bombs and Prison Riots
Fecha de publicación: 
1 September 2023
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Over the last 48 hours, Ecuador has been suffering a wave of car bombings and prison riots that outgoing President Guillermo Lasso is unable to control.

On Thursday night, the National Police confirmed two new explosions with no fatalities in areas near the city of Cuenca. The first bomb was placed in the structure of a bridge near the town of Sayausi and affected the pipes and the asphalt. A second explosive device was detonated inside a vehicle in the town of Totoracocha.

Previously, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, four vehicles exploded without causing fatalities. Two explosions occurred in the capital city Quito and the other two in the cities of Machala and Pasaje located in the province of El Oro. So far there are ten people arrested in relation to the vehicles that exploded in Quito.

According to the official interpretation, the car bombs and the riots in the prisons are responses from drug gangs to the interventions that the Police and the Armed Forces are carrying out in the prisons to destroy the criminal groups.

The text reads, "Prison riot continues in Ecuador. Inmates take 57 guards hostage. The revolt began in the morning hours and the Armed Forces have been deployed nearby for public safety."

Both the car explosions and the riots occurred a few hours after a massive intervention by 2,200 police and military personnel at the Latacunga prison, which is located in the province of Cotopaxi and controlled by the Los Lobos gang.

The biggest riot, however, took place in the Cuenca prison, where the prisoners are holding 50 guards and seven police officers. Over 500 police and soldiers have remained outside the prison since Wednesday without being able to enter it.

Through a video recorded from inside this jail, the police officers and guards detained asked President Lasso to urgently find a solution that would allow their release.

On Thursday, another 15 guards were also being held in the Machala jail. There was also an attempted riot at the Virgilio Guerrero juvenile prison in Quito, where teenagers caused a large fire. Fortunately there were no victims.

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