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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, February 26, 2021

Prison Massacres in Ecuador Leave 79 Dead; Rumors Say It Was CJNG vs. Sinaloan Proxies

 "Parro" for Borderland Beat

Note to readers: The Ecuadorian media claims that the massacres were part of a dispute between proxies of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Sinaloa Cartel. However, as pointed out by Borderland Beat forum contributor "Redlogarythm", the rumor surfaced on social media. We are informing what sources say but we leave it up to readers' discretion to form their own opinions.

Earlier this week, prison riots broke out in four prisons in Ecuador. At least 79 inmates were killed and 20 were wounded. "Dark forces are threatening our co-existence", President Lenín Moreno said in a statement

Ecuadorian authorities are trying to understand the circumstances surrounding the massacre on Tuesday inside four of the country’s prisons, while judicial officials are continuing their work to decipher what occurred without ruling out – experts say – that the deeds could be drug-related.

“One group is the Choneros, the armed section of the Sinaloa Cartel, and the other is the Lagartos, who were operating with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)” said Arturo Torres, a criminal researcher and author of books such as “El Juego de Camaleon” (The game of the chameleon) and “Rehenes” (Hostages).

“It’s a dispute over the criminal and drug trafficking market that goes beyond the country’s borders,” he added regarding the main groups although, he said, other minor drug gangs are also involved.

Meanwhile, dozens of relatives of the 79 inmates who died gathered Wednesday morning in front of the Guayaquil prison and the city morgue to ask for the remains of the loved ones who lost their lives in the country’s worst-ever such series of incidents.

At the doors of the prison and morgue, the bodies of 37 of the dead from two prisons were laid out and more than 100 people jammed the site starting early Wednesday morning to try and obtain whatever information they could get about their relatives. The incidents on Tuesday at the prisons have shocked the country, which – although prison riots have occurred in Ecuador in the past – never imagined a bloodbath like the one that unfolded.

The confrontations came one after another in two Guayaquil facilities, at Turi Prison in Cuenca and Cotopaxi in Latacunga, and prison authorities were unable to do anything to halt the violence.

“We don’t understand the levels human behavior can get to,” Latacunga Mayor Byron Cardenas told reporters, adding that if the inmates are organized and have a significant number of weapons inside the prisons, one cannot imagine what could happen if those inmates were free in society.

Just as in Guayaquil, soldiers and police were deployed on Wednesday at the Latacunga prison, where eight inmates died on Tuesday, a move designed to prevent new riots given that the structure of the prison system is not designed to bring massive violent events under control, with prison personnel being equipped only to deal with small-scale isolated incidents.

“Our system is completely deplorable in this government. The number of prison personnel – the backbone of the system – must be increased,” Jhonny Cadena, a former prison guard, warned at a press conference.

The clashes on Tuesday were coordinated simultaneously at four different spots, organized – authorities believe – by two gangs who, apparently, are vying for control of the prisons and the internal prison economy.

In 2020, the Ecuadorian police seized 130 tons of cocaine, a record haul for the country, where authorities normally had seized an average of 90 tons per year. Attempting to deal with that organizational and criminal capability is a prison service that has been neglected by successive governments.

“There’s 70 percent deficit of prison guards, with about 1,500 currently, when at least 7,000 are needed,” Ricardo Camacho, the assistant justice secretary and the official in charge of the country’s prisons from 2017-2018.

The SNAI, as Ecuador’s prison service is known, manages more than 60 prison facilities, but on Tuesday its director, Edmundo Moncayo, emphasized that the Guayaquil, Cuenca and Latacunga prisons house 70 percent of the country’s incarcerated population of 38,693. The prisons, SNAI says, are designed to hold 29,897 inmates, and thus they are currently more than 29 percent overcrowded, but that is not the worst of it.

Because of the weakness of the system, the most organized and powerful criminal bands have managed to establish control within the prisons that Ecuadorian authorities can do little to counteract, not to mention the fact that – according to Torres – the prison system is rife with corruption.

The situation has led mayors, activists and all sorts of other people to request that the most dangerous prisoners be transferred elsewhere. But the suffering is felt by the relatives, whose incarcerated loved ones have been killed in the violence, and by the inmates who are still alive but caught inside the prisons amid the barbarity. 

Sources: La Prensa, BBC Mundo; Sol de Mexico


  1. Ecuador?? Zacatecas has a town caller Ecuador or something?

    1. 2:59 "or something" no te hagas pendejo.
      The Country of Ecuador has a problem, private prison investors trying to get budget for taking care of prison problems they themselves created as has been seen all over Mexico and the US where privatizing public institutions comes with expensive multiplications of problems on the streets and in the prisons, created and financed by the private prisons investors themselves, promising of unionized prison guards and hefty bounties for the better performer$$$.

  2. CJNG and Sinaloa are battling it out here and elsewhere. Who will prevail? A new era will begin when that happens. Maybe peace on the other side?

  3. I can understand the violence,maybe its what you see and violence you go thru as a child into young manhood,but the black shit inside never leaves,so what we all go thru shit

    1. 5:15 there is shit in many other colors, even in white trash...
      Not that we are trying to defend any color of criminal, not even White Collar Criminals or Pink or Grey Panthers.

  4. The rippling effects of drugs trafficking.

  5. Choneros. lol. "White bitch, give me some chon-chon!" Sangre por Sangre, acuerda?

  6. 79 wasted souls good or bad still wasted over a pie big enough that everyone can eat off i mean literally every soul in this world alive but the manipulation continues

  7. Sounds like a good cost cutting measure.

    1. 5:24 the deaths will bring demands for "better prison system", and everybody knows everywhere that only private enterprise can promise that, in exchange for prohibitive expense of giving them their Corporate Queens Welfare Contracts on Ecuador, they will top that with even more of the drug trafficking they ready own.

  8. good riddance to all executed


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