Authorities reported that at least 100 people were killed while 80 others were injured after a prison massacre flared on Tuesday in Ecuador, with officials finding more dead bodies in the aftermath of the chaos.

On Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced the horrific incident that resulted in a death toll that continues to increase. Officials said that the massacre was a result of bloody clashes on Tuesday at the Litoral Penitentiary, which is found outside the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Horrific Prison Chaos

On Wednesday, Lasso held a televised speech where he indicated that the prison was not yet entirely secured. He also urged the families and relatives of inmates housed within the establishment to stay clear of the area.

During his address, Lasso said that the meeting of officials was organized to discuss what plans they need to come up with moving forward. He expressed his hopes that in the next few hours after his speech, they would see some of their plans come to fruition. He added that reports of more bodies found within the area were expected to follow, CNN reported.

It was also reported that at least five of the fatalities from the ensuing chaos were beheaded, marking the worst penitentiary massacre in the history of Ecuador. Lasso was forced to declare a state of emergency after the initial reports of violence, which prompted the deployment of police and soldiers to quell the unrest.

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Authorities believed that the chaos within the prison was caused by gangs connected to international drug cartels fighting for control of the lockup. When the president of the region said there was no guarantee of the security of the prison, he called the situation "bad and sad."

"It is regrettable that the prisons are being turned into territories for power disputes by criminal gangs," Lasso said. He noted that he planned to move forward with "absolute firmness" to take back control of the Litoral prison and prevent future violence from spreading to other penitentiaries, The Washington Post reported.

Ongoing Crisis

The situation was followed by chaos in another Ecuadorian prison that killed at least 24 people and injured 48 others. The recent incident occurred at the Penitenciaria del Litoral in Guayas province. The facility has experienced several bloody fights between gangs in the last few months.

In a statement, state prison agency SNAI said that an alert was called in the Center for the Deprivation of Liberty Guayas N1 due to gunshots and explosions in multiple areas. They reported the number of casualties and injuries.

Authorities were able to later take back control of the facility in the afternoon after personnel was evacuated and police officers were deployed into the prison while military officers guarded the exterior. Ecuador's prison system experienced riots in February and July, which affected about 39,000 inmates. During the February incident, at least 79 people were reported to have lost their lives while at least 22 were reported to have died during the July chaos.

Previously, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the violence and Human Rights Watch called on the country's government to investigate the incidents, Reuters reported.

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