Ecuador prison riot relatives wait at gates of morgue

STORY: On Tuesday families hurdled under the rain outside a municipal morgue waiting to find out if their relatives' bodies were amongst the 43 inmates who died during a prison riot in the Ecuadorean city of Santo Domingo on Monday.

Inmate's relatives told Reuters they had not received any information on their family members.

Authorities said the riot broke out after a gang leader was transferred to Santo Domingo's Bellavista prison following a court order, which may have caused unrest among prisoners. Most of the murdered inmates where stabbed to death.

The director of Santo Domingo's Public Defender's Office, Mauricio Sotalin, said those waiting outside the morgue were looking for any indication of their relative's whereabouts because they could either be death, escaped or still in prison.

The riot was the latest incident of violence in Ecuadorean prisons, which the government attributes to fights between gangs over control of territory and drug trafficking routes.

Last year, 316 prisoners died during riots in various prisons across Ecuador.

Bellavista prison has now been brought back under control, police commander Fausto Salinas said, adding that a security fence was built around the jail's perimeter after prisoners escaped.

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