Ecuador identifies three killed in prison riot

By Ryan Browne, CNN • Updated 28th March 2016

Ecuador has formally identified three of its citizens killed in a February prison riot and are looking for four more, officials said Thursday.

The three, who are believed to have been killed in self-defense during the unrest at the Lopez Fiumicino prison in Guayaquil, will be buried with full military honors, Interior Minister Carlos Benavides de Vara said.

The list includes 26 foreign prisoners, according to a statement from the South American country’s government. The fight erupted February 23 after a series of riots and inmate protests at the jail.

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The latest victim identified is Salvador Fernando Peralta, a Cuban exile who had been extradited from the United States two years ago and sentenced to two years in prison on drug trafficking charges, Benavides de Vara said.

Two other people found dead were Ecuadorian nationals who were not inmates of the jail. They were Elinior Francisco Garcia Diaz, who was killed after he refused to return to the armed gang that inmates said had abducted him, and Jose Carlos Mamariz Garcia, who was beaten to death, the statement said.

Officials have found traces of cocaine and cigarettes in the cell of the inmate who is believed to have caused the war of retaliation, Benavides de Vara said. He was named as Rohen Mario Gutierrez de Poza, a 36-year-old migrant from Honduras who has been charged with the murder of a woman in western Ecuador and homicide in the U.S. in 2008, the government said.

Benavides de Vara said Gutierrez de Poza is currently locked up in an isolation cell.


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