The number of inmates killed in riots at three separate prisons in Ecuador this week has increased to 79, authorities said on Wednesday, after they regained control of the facilities. Al Jazeera reports that the gangs began a battle for leadership within the prison system in December when a leader of Los Choneros, considered the most powerful gang, was killed in a shopping centre several months after being released. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Tuesday was a “tragic day for the country” – as dozens of prisoners were first reported dead – and blamed overpopulation within the prison system, as well as a lack of personnel and resources, for the violence.