QUITO, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's Minister of Government Alexandra Vela on Sunday urged the justice department to punish the perpetrators of the prison riot that occurred Tuesday at the Litoral Penitentiary in the city of Guayaquil, which left at least 118 inmates dead and 79 wounded.
"We also require the decisive intervention of the justice system for the application of the law, that all those responsible for the massacre that occurred in the Litoral Penitentiary be investigated and punished," Vela said.
The riot at the penitentiary, which is in fact a large prison complex made up of several prisons in Guayaquil, was the deadliest in the nation's history and was the third riot registered so far in 2021, after two previous ones that occurred in February and July with death tolls of 79 and 22, respectively.
The riot at the penitentiary included the use of firearms and explosives, according to police, which they attributed to fights between criminal gangs battling for control of the prisons.
The revolt led President Guillermo Lasso to declare on Wednesday a state of emergency for 60 days throughout the Ecuadoran prison system to prevent new outbreaks of violence and maintain order.
Ecuador is facing a prison crisis, with many sites overcrowded. To alleviate overcrowding, the government announced that some 2,000 pardons will be processed for the elderly, women, people with disabilities, and the terminally ill, and the repatriation of foreigners detained in Ecuador will also continue. Enditem