Ecuador jail riot: Anxiety, fear and little information

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More than 100 inmates have been killed in a fight inside a prison in the Ecuadorean port city of Guayaquil. It is expected to take days to identify the bodies, leaving relatives of inmates fearing the worst. Journalist Blanca Moncada Pesantes spoke to some of those waiting for news.

Not even at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March and April 2020, when death was in the air in many neighbourhoods of Guayaquil, had so many relatives ever gathered outside the city’s morgue. When President Guillermo Lasso announced that the death toll had risen, dozens of families rushed to the forensic laboratory where the bodies of the victims were being taken. They want to find out where their loved ones are and, crucially, if they are still alive. They have yet to get an answer and their anxiety only increased as explosions could again be heard coming from Guayaquil’s biggest prison, a sign that the gang war inside – said to be linked to the drugs trade – had not been brought under control.(BBC)…[+]