Images of the unbelievable stash of guns, knives and drugs found inside an Ecuadorian prison have been released after a clash between two gangs left 118 dead.
Yesterday, police announced that 900 armed officers had managed to regain control of Litoral Penitentiary, Guayaquil, for a second time, after explosions had resumed in the early hours of the morning.
They said on Twitter “@PoliciaEcuador maintains control of #CPLGuayas No. 1 [Litoral Penitentiary]” before adding that reinforcements were on their way.
They also said that 435 rounds of ammunition and three explosive devices were among the things found in the prison after two days of chaos, and uploaded a shocking video of the stash.
On Tuesday morning, fighting broke out between two rival gangs, Los Lobos and Los Choneros, over control of one of the prison’s pavilions.
The two groups reportedly have links to rival Mexican drug cartels.
Terrifying videos posted on social media showed prisoners wielding guns and machetes on the prison roof whilst the booming sound of explosives detonating could be heard.
When police finally entered Litoral Penitentiary they found several of the deceased beheaded or cremated.
Pablo Arosemena, the governor of the province of Guayas, announced after five hours: “I thank the National Police, the Armed Forces, the SNAI staff and all those who made it possible for us to restore order within the prison.”
On Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso decreed a “state of emergency” for the entire prison system, and announced that he was travelling to Guayaquil to personally oversee a security committee.
However, at around midnight there were reports of two more explosions and gunfire coming from inside the facility as the authorities once again lost control.
Local news outlet La Magia TV also reported drugs poisonings outside the prison in the early hours of Thursday.
They tweeted: “Two people aboard a taxi were helped by paramedic units from the Fire Department, after it was reported that citizens had been victims of scopolamine outside the ‘Del Litoral Penitentiary’.”
Scopolamine, dubbed the “world’s scariest drug” by VICE, is also known as Devil’s Breath. It is a mind-altering substance that makes people act as if they have no free will, and was tested during the Cold War by the both the US and Soviets as a potential truth serum.
Now that yesterday’s armed offensive has restored order once more, authorities are introducing stricter measures to ensure it doesn’t slip.
The government of Guayas province announced that helicopters and drones are being used. They said: “We continue to fly over the area that groups the Guayaquil prisons to safeguard order.”
There have also been messages of condolence for those caught up in the horrific bloodshed.
Bernarda Ordonez Moscoso, Ecuador’s Secretary of Human Rights, tweeted: “From the National Government we express our heartfelt note of condolences to the families of the prisoners for the events that occurred.
“From the city of Guayaquil, we provide the entire contingent for accompaniment and due diligence.”
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