Several rifles, pistols, more than 6,000 cartridges, sticks of dynamite and grenades were to be admitted to jail at dawn; there are six detainees.
Three inmates left their cells at dawn on Friday, jumped over the walls of their pavilion and arrived at the outside of the Guayaquil Penitentiary to collect an arsenal that unknown subjects took to the prison compound.
The police officers guarding the sector detected some silhouettes and discovered the men trying to enter a package. The fact shows that security in the most populated prison in Ecuador has weaknesses.
General Marco Villegas, delegate of prison control, said that those deprived of liberty were from pavilion 2, who would have jumped the wall to reach the street where the weapons were. It is known in a preliminary way that the weapons went to a gang that operates in the prison.
One of the metal enclosures of the prison was cut with a shear to enter the weapons into the internal street that connects the Penitentiary with the Regional and with the Women’s prison.
The National Police detected 2 rifles, 5 pistols, 4,494 9 mm caliber cartridges, 250 38 mm cartridges, 100 45 mm cartridges, 75 sticks of dynamite, 3 grenades, 8 feeders, 2 shears in bundles.
The detainees were taken to the Model Barracks along with the evidence. At 10:30 this Friday they held the flagrante delicto qualification hearing.
Detainees could be prosecuted for various crimes. First for evasion, because they were outside the penitentiary, for possession of weapons and for introducing prohibited objects into a prison.
In addition, it was detailed that one of them has been detained for the crime of murder for two years, the other four years for robbery and the third has been imprisoned for two years for drug trafficking.
Police have not yet identified those who brought the weapons to the prison and cut the fence to enter the arsenal.
Hours before the capture of the inmates, during a routine operation that took place on the road to Daule, near Parque California, police and military stopped the march of a black vehicle in which three subjects were going and who were found submachine gun, two feeders and almost 600 cartridges of various calibers. The Police presume that this team was also going to be admitted to jail.
On the other hand, Police elements were guarding the area of the incident in the Penitentiary on Friday morning to try to collect data. There, agents made a sweep of the cameras of the sector.
At the same time, several family members came to the area, put up posters and drew a heart on the street. They ask that the murders stop and better treatment for their relatives, who would be tortured, as was released this week in a video that went viral in which it is seen that a prisoner is put into a water tank.
This week, almost daily, shots have been reported in jail. On the afternoon of this Thursday the 11th a prison guide was wounded by bullets.
General Villegas said that the atmosphere inside the jail is so tense that on Thursday Interagua personnel entered to clean the pipelines. He said that as part of the work, they began to spray nearby plants and that this would have upset the inmates of a nearby ward, who would have felt threatened, and began to shoot.
The workers had to take refuge in a workshop until the shooting stopped and they were taken from the Penitentiary. Between Sunday and Monday two inmates died and two more were injured by the constant clashes. At least five grenades were detonated on Wednesday.
So far in 2021 there have been 265 violent deaths in prisons. In the Penitentiary there are more than 180 cases due to the fight between gangs that dispute the territories, inside and outside the prison, for drug trafficking.
In an attempt to stop this prison crisis that has crossed borders, the board of the National Social Rehabilitation System approved on Wednesday the creation of an Emergency Intervention Commission in prisons.
One of the problems with prisons is that the state seems not to be in control. In the interior, the leaders of gangs are in command, who have distributed pavilions and have contacts with narco-criminal groups. Recently the diary Millennium, from Mexico, indicated that of the 40,000 prisoners who are in prisons in Ecuador, 25,000 are part of gangs that work for the Sinaloa and Jalisco Nueva Generación cartels. (I)
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.