New bloodthirsty prison gang responsible for three recent massacres in jail

A new 'bloodthirsty' prison gang is said to be responsible for three recent massacres that occurred behind bars.

Ecuador's Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo has blamed a gang named R7 for the rise in violence that is plaguing his country's prison system.

More than a dozen prisoners were killed in a large-scale riot on July 18 that has also left two further people injured.

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That uprising has now been linked to a breakaway fraction led by Jose Gregorio Ramirez Guerrero, alias “Goyo,” according to reports in the Ecuadorean media.

R7 are reportedly to have reacted with the murders in response to Goyo's plans to split off from the gang.

While the death toll was less than in other prison incidents this year, it was no less gruesome, with Carrillo confirming that police recovered 45 body parts that had been scattered around the prison.

This is the second major event leading to the loss of life at the Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo, as in May this year, a similar incident claimed the lives of 44 people.

Authorities also now announced that R7 were again involved, as a feud between R7 leader Marcelo Anchundia and the head of the larger Lobos gang, Alexander Quesada, alias “Ariel,” led to the massacre.

In April, 20 inmates were brutally killed at Turi prison, where both Ariel and Anchundia were jailed at the time.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has said that often the brawls are caused by gangs that operate throughout the country.

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Riots in prisons are not uncommon in the South American country, with 316 inmates losing their lives in the past 12 months alone.

Guard shortages and relatively easy access to weapons have made prisons dangerous places.

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the problems have been caused by poor living conditions for prisoners, a lack of attention from the government and a lack of policy are to blame.

In May, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights expressed its “deep alarm” at continued prison violence and called for a “comprehensive reform of the criminal justice system.”

With the country in the midst of a political crisis after weeks of protests over the cost-of-living crisis, efforts to curb the violence in prisons by reducing overcrowding and moving key individuals and gang leaders has, so far, been ineffective.

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