Drug Capo Among 16 Killed In Prison Riot

Interior views of traditional prison

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A drug capo was killed in a massive fight at a prison in Ecuador on Tuesday (October 4), the Associated Press reports.

Leonardo Norero, 35, also known as 'El Patron,' was among the 16 individuals killed during the fight involving guns and knives, which also resulted in 43 people experiencing injuries, including two reported to be in critical condition, according to the AP.

Authorities confirmed Norero's deaths publicly, but refrained from providing more details that could only be given to relatives in accordance with the Latacunga prison's rules.

Norero was arrested during a raid seizing $7 million in cash, 43 gold bars, weapons and jewelry in Guayaquil in May. Authorities said Norero's assets included at least seven companies and luxury real estate at the time of his arrest.

The 35-year-old was being held at a medium-security prison while awaiting trail for drug trafficking and money laundering charges and was wanted for separate drug trafficking charges on Peru, having successfully faked his own death during the COVID-19 pandemic and escaped to Ecuador in mid-2020, according to the AP.

Norero's lawyers presented a falsified death certificate and falsified photos that were used to prove his death.

Prison officials said 316 inmates have been killed by fellow prisoners in 2021, as well as 106 in 2022.

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