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Spiraling criminal violence causes morgue to overflow, foul odors to spread in Ecuadorian city

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Spiraling criminal violence causes morgue to overflow, foul odors to spread in Ecuadorian city
News

News

Spiraling criminal violence causes morgue to overflow, foul odors to spread in Ecuadorian city

2024-06-14 10:35 Last Updated At:10:40

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Spiraling criminal violence in one of Ecuador’s most dangerous cities caused a buildup of unidentified and unclaimed bodies that exceeded the capacity of Guayaquil's main morgue, officials confirmed Thursday.

The government of Guayas, the province of which Guayaquil is the capital, said Thursday afternoon in a statement that “the problem that has arisen in recent days in the morgue” has been resolved, its first acknowledgment the problem existed in the first place.

Local television and media reports had said about 200 bodies in excess of the Forensic Medicine Service morgue’s capacity had accumulated and a refrigeration unit used to store them had failed, causing nearby residents to complain of foul odors.

Ecuadorian media outlets Ecuavisa and Teleamazonas broadcast images taken with drones showing morgue workers removing bodies from a refrigerated container and spraying the container’s entrance with a product the outlets said was meant to neutralize the putrid liquids seeping out of it.

Both the Forensic Medicine Service and the Ministry of Health did not respond to requests for information from The Associated Press made on Wednesday.

The government statement did not say how many bodies were involved but said a malfunctioning refrigerated unit where bodies are kept when the morgue is full had been repaired.

During the past week, forensic services collected 40 bodies that were victims of violence in a city that in 2023 recorded a total of 3,762 violent deaths, according to police figures. Most of the deaths are the result of clashes between gangs fighting over territory and drug distribution routes, which has created unprecedented levels of violence in this port city of 2.72 million inhabitants.

The former head of forensic medicine at the Guayaquil morgue, Juan Montenegro, told the AP that the “bodies are stored in containers without taking into account their cooling capacity,” meaning the decomposition process is accelerated and bad odors spread and putrid liquids seep untreated into pipes.

“I don’t understand why they haven’t sent the bodies to a mass grave in a timely manner, donated them to the universities, or why they haven’t handed them over to the relatives, who are on the street demanding the bodies,” he said.

People wait outside of the Criminalistic and Forensic Science Laboratory in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Thursday, June 13, 2024. Refrigerated containers, left, were set up, as unrecognized or unclaimed bodies exceeded the capacity of the Guayaquil morgue. (AP Photo/Cesar Munoz)

People wait outside of the Criminalistic and Forensic Science Laboratory in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Thursday, June 13, 2024. Refrigerated containers, left, were set up, as unrecognized or unclaimed bodies exceeded the capacity of the Guayaquil morgue. (AP Photo/Cesar Munoz)

SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 15, 2024--

In a fiercely contested UEFA EURO 2024™, Dani Olmo (Spain), Harry Kane (England), Cody Gakpo (Netherlands), Georges Mikautadze (Georgia), Ivan Schranz (Slovakia), and Jamal Musiala (Germany) emerged as joint winners of the Alipay+ Top Scorer award. Each player scored three goals during the tournament, showcasing exceptional performances throughout and contributing to a memorable event that concluded with a thrilling final at Berlin's Olympiastadion.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240714542692/en/

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About Alipay+

Alipay+ is a suite of cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions that help connect global merchants to consumers. Consumers enjoy seamless payment and a broad choice of deals using their preferred payment methods while traveling abroad. Small and medium-sized businesses may use Alipay+ digital tools to enhance efficiency and achieve omni-channel growth.

Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Group, presents the Alipay+ Top Scorer award to the onsite winning football player Dani Olmo of Spain at UEFA EURO 2024™ (Photo: Business Wire)

Eric Jing, Chairman and CEO of Ant Group, presents the Alipay+ Top Scorer award to the onsite winning football player Dani Olmo of Spain at UEFA EURO 2024™ (Photo: Business Wire)

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