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Inmates hold terrified wardens hostage amid violent prison riots

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Prisoners held terrified wardens hostage at gunpoint after violent jail riots.

Several masked men – also armed with knives – threatened a group of screws as they knelt inside a prison.

One held a hostage by the scruff of his neck as he repeatedly swung a huge blade towards his throat.

And another pushed a hostage to the floor while pressing a handgun into the back of his neck.

A second piece of footage showed a terrified warden on the ground with three handguns pointed at his head.

He talked into the camera, asking Ecuadorian president Daniel Noboa to restore order on the inmates’ terms.

They then bundled him to the floor and several gunshots were heard – though it is unclear if the hostage was hit.

On Sunday (7 Jan), the leader of the feared Los Choneros gang, Adolfo “Fito” Macías, “disappeared” from the jail where he was serving a 34-year sentence.

Large riots broke out in at least six prisons in the South American country the following morning (8 Jan).

President Noboa has since declared a 60-day state of emergency and stated: “We will not negotiate with terrorists.”

He has also imposed a night curfew on all cities.

Noboa said: “These narco-terrorist groups intend to intimidate us and believe that we will yield to their demands.

“I have given clear and precise instructions to military and police commanders to intervene in the control of prisons.”

The police say that order has since been restored in one of the affected facilities – Quito’s El Inca Prison – where inmates set fire to mattresses.

Since 2021, more than 400 deaths have been reported in Ecuador’s prisons due to clashes between rival gangs.

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