Ecuador officials will pardon at least 2,000 inmates following the deadly prison riot that killed at least 118 inmates on Tuesday, at the Penitenciaria del Litoral in Guayaquil.

According to an official from Ecuador, the said move seeks to address the overcrowding at the detention facilities.

SNAI prison authority director Bolivar Garzon said on Friday that the government would focus and prioritize elderly and female inmates, as well as prisoners with disabilities and terminal illness, Al Jazeera reported.

Further details about the release of the said inmates were not furthered by the Ecuadorian officials.

READ NEXT: 5 Dead, 15 Hurt in Bloody Ecuador Jail Riot

Ecuador Prison Riot Kills 118 Inmates

The move to pardon thousands of inmates in the Ecuador prison stemmed out as hundreds died following a prison riot in Guayaquil on Tuesday. The said incident was reported to also injure at least 79 inmates.

The recent chaos in the said detention facility also marked Ecuador's worst-ever prison riot in its history, as prisoners on Tuesday were reported to utilize explosives and firearms against each other.

On Thursday, authorities pointed out that Litoral prison in Guayaquil, Ecuador was back under their control following a major operation that involved at least 900 officers and soldiers.

On Friday, Interior Minister Alexandra Vela confirmed that forensic units identified 41 victims from Tuesday's incident, while 21 bodies were delivered back to their families.

Vela also pointed out that their government also sent 3,600 police and military reinforcements to prisons across the country to maintain peace and order.

Ecuador Prison Riot

The fight on Guayaquil prison was reported to break out when inmates from one wing of the detention facility were reported to crawl through a hole to make their way on the other wing, where they attacked their rival gang members.

Officials pointed out that the motive for the gangs' fight — who were known to have alliances with transnational criminal groups — as over drug trafficking routes.

According to local media, brutal killings could have been ordered from outside the prison, reflecting a power struggle from Mexican cartels on their way to Ecuador.

Litoral prison was known to house inmates from different gangs including Los Choneros who were linked to Sinaloa Cartel. Meanwhile, Jalisco New Generation Cartel was also trying to forge alliances with Ecuadorian gangs to seize control of drug smuggling routes.

"It's regrettable that prisons are being turned into territories for power disputes by criminal gangs," Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso said on Wednesday, as he announced a state of emergency in the prison system.

Families of Ecuador Prison Riot Victims Waiting Outside Detention Facility

As the identification of the killed inmates continues, families of the victims gathered outside the Litoral prison and Guayaquil morgue, seeking information about their loved ones.

However, with some of the victims decapitated or dismembered, BBC emphasized that identifying the victims could take days.

Police Official Henry Coral asked families to help speed up the identification of the victims by telling authorities for details such as tattoos, scars, and other distinguishing features of the victims.

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Written By: Joshua Summers

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